The rock world stood with their mouths wide open when alternative rockers Taking Back Sunday dropped their new single ‘Tidal Wave’ in June, as the forefathers of emo music emerged back onto the scene with a track that didn’t just sound like The Ramones and The Clash, but even escaped into Dropkick Murphys territory.
The title-track to their seventh album would be more at home on an Against Me! record than alongside ‘MakeDamnSure’ or ‘Cute Without The E (Cut From The Team)’, but the New Yorkers have peaked the interest of thousands once again. ‘Tidal Wave’ is a brilliant resurgence for a band that seemed comfortable within themselves, yet have pushed their boundaries even this far into their career.
The record starts phenomenally (and, in fact, probably too well in terms of consistency of quality over 12 tracks) with ‘Death Wolf’ that has a distant opening, but after a minute of ambience hits with a riff reminiscent back to ‘What Does It Feel Like To Be A Ghost’ from ‘Louder Now’. Yet, before the guitar can hit a clean round riff, Adam Lazzara is already chucking his vocals all over it with the Southern twang that hits home every time he’s near a microphone.
After a few records that strayed from their routine sound, ‘Happiness Is’ set the tone once again, and paved the way for TBS to pen some ‘Greatest Hits’ threatening tracks. ‘You Can’t Look Back’ is a perfect example of that; insightful, clever, and catchy as hell.
Bar some very dodgy and uncharacteristic auto-tuning on ‘In The Middle Of It All’, the experiments work well for the Hopeless Records band, and they sound like a decent alternative punk rock outfit. Older, more conservative fans will grasp onto ‘Call Come Running’ and ‘All Fences’ with ease, but the new pop catchiness of ‘All Excess’ will grasp the attention of radios and pop-punk fans alike.
This is a sensational new record from Taking Back Sunday and an innovative step for them, but more it’s proof that any band can evaluate what they’ve done, what they’ve got, and where they can go in 2016. There’s opportunities to make your seventh record open yourselves up to new audiences, and reinvent yourself into something that captures the excitement you once had without compromising integrity, quality, or fanbase.
Written by Mike Heath (@MikeBeef)