Written By Simon Chisholm
When I heard that Yellowcard were back working together, I was quite excited. When I finally got my hands on the new release, ‘When You’re Through Thinking Say Yes’, I could not have been happier with the effort.
I really like this album, from start to finish. It is fun to listen to, has typical Yellowcard punk melodies and rhymes and the dynamics between tracks vary from frantic punk to ballads.
The album opens with a fast, paced energetic track, seemingly telling the story of the boys return to form, delivered lyrically and outlined by the instrumentation. The drums are fast, the bass shreds, and the violin and guitar supply the leads. Sit back and enjoy the breakdown, it sucks the breath from your lungs. The punk tracks are packed into this release, telling the tales of the hiatus, the time off and the return of punk rock’s biggest bands. The boys smashing into a heavy, fast, punk tracks showing that they are indeed back and ready to cement their place in your music collection. These tracks will have you jumping around busting out some air guitar/ violin.
The punk tracks continue, till we reach the single ‘Hang You Up’, a ballad made up of sparse parts creating a full, layered texture. The track builds from section to section, raising anxiousness and excitement. ‘Sing For Me’ is another slow song. A heart felt ode to the silent sufferers to speak out and be heard. A song that delivers a message of support.
We conclude the record with a song accepting the fact that we all have to grow up some day, but imploring that we not give up our youth, our dreams or our ambitions.
Instrumentally, the album is ‘very Yellowcard’. Making use of the classic fast and inventive drumming, punk melodies and rhymes, leads and countermelodies supplied by violin and guitar, chugga chugga bass lines, and string interludes reminiscent of the classic ‘Only One’. As opposed to other pop punk and pop rock, Yellowcard make heavy use of riffs and ostinatos. These motifs separate the instrumentation from the vocal, keeping interest in the separate entities.
The movement supplied by the violin and leads on the guitar are a fantastic touch. Not only does it keep the interest and move the track, it fills the texture, creates a sense of polyphony and countermelody while not making the tracks too busy.
Lyrically, the band return their roots singing of typical skater punk subjects including life reflection, moving on, dreams coming true, reminiscing on the past, looking towards the future, feeling motivated and strong, calling for help and growing up. While the vocal has a fairly limited range, it gets the message across, and lets be honest, as long as the audience can sing along easily and can understand the words, you’re all set.
The songs are dynamic in the arrangements, they almost mimic stream of consciousness as a person thinks through a situation, makes a decision or gets an epiphany. It’s this stream of thought lyrical approach that makes the audience relate to the songs. High energy with contrasting sections create a sense of ebb and flow.
The choruses are catchy the lyrics hit home, and the melodies flow easily. What more do you want in your pop punk? This is one of those albums you can’t stop listening to.
Ryan Key – Vocals, Guitar
Sean Mackin – Violin, Vocals
Ryan Mendez – Guitar, Vocals
Sean O’Donnell – Bass, Vocals
Longineu W. Parsons III – Drums, Percussion
Released by Hopeless Records in 2010. Produced By Neal Avron.