Taking Back Sunday

Album Review: Taking Back Sunday – Tidal Wave

The biggest myth about Taking Back Sunday is that Tell All Your Friends (2002) is their best record. The truth is that — now on to their seventh studio album — Taking Back Sunday’s best record is the one that you first discovered them with. In this way, they’re like the Batman of post-emo alt rock: Gen Xers prefer Michael Keaton, Millennials have Christian Bale, and Gen Ys have embraced Batfleck. (This Millennial, however, will always choose Keaton).

After the almost-unlistenable Happiness Is (2014), Taking Back Sunday (TBS) have returned with Tidal Wave — an almost-ambitious record. They wanted to do something different here, and good: it’s about time. When TBS dropped the title-track as the first single, fans were left scratching their heads. Is this the Dropkick Murphys or Rancid? Certainly not Taking Back Sunday!!!

The song’s sweaty swagger is absolutely polarizing. Love it or hate it, “Tidal Wave” is a refreshing change of pace from a band who is often lost in their own sound. There are no wrist-slitting break-up lyrics, no overlapping harmonies, no long bridges with massive build ups. Just a gritty, quick and dirty, two-and-a-half minute gut punch. And it’s great fun. Unfortunately, the song is also somewhat of a bait and switch, as Tidal Wave is not the “new-direction” Taking Back Sunday record that its title-track single promises.

Different in the midst of sameness

Instead, the album is one of noncommittal change that quickly succumbs to the bad habits and songwriting ruts that have haunted much of the band’s previous efforts. It’s a tension that influences too much of the record, coloring it mediocre and underdeveloped. (more…)

Advertisements

The Conundrum of Location Shenanigans (or, A Decade Under the Influence)

The Good News for me: I got a job! The Bad News for leisure: I got a job…

Good news indeed! Yes, very much so—especially when considering my recent exploits of turning down Mr. Ponytail without another viable option. The pay is decent enough, I get to learn something new, and the establishment is conveniently close to my living quarters. It’s a store, but I wont mention the name since my employment is still technically in process. The process, you see, has become a bit of a conundrum.

The wonderful people at my (supposed) new job require a full-background check upon employment. This is fine as I have nothing to hide (my secret-agent/ninja experience was wiped clean from official transcripts). The bummer part? They want ten years of addresses.

Ten years?

I don’t know even know where I live now! Is it Rochester?

My first thought was this: Okay. I can do this. Just track back, right? Rochester, Idaho, California, Idaho… That takes care of this year… Oh Lord. I can’t do this!

I’ve definitely moved around more than the average bear; unless, of course, we’re talking carnival bears. But nevertheless, it’s been a wild ride since high-school ended. My lovely wife pointed out that, stability speaking, I’m in probably the worst ten years of my life: the first ten-years after high-school.

NOTE TO SELF: Next year is my ten-year graduation reunion. Don’t go.

My Ninja Plan of Attack

I have two weeks to complete this background thingamajoo. ASAP would be best. So here’s my plan: Calling on all friends, relatives, and enemies, if you’ve seen me, at all, in the last ten years—any where—let me know where that place* was. *Please include the zip-code. Thank you.

“Kevin, that is not a good plan—at all.”

First of all, who named you Mr. Plandsome? Secondly, yes, I know. It’s a terrible plan. So, three cheers for a new plan! I’ve ordered a credit report, hoping my many addresses will be on it. I’m also open to other suggestions*.

*I accept credit for all good ideas.

Until then, I must keep racking my brain: where the hell have I been these last ten years?

Wish me luck as I go forward.

Thanks for your support, kind readers. You’re the best. Here’s a salute to my (and possibly your) decade under the influence: