donderdag 25 november 2010

Reminiscing About Past Reviews -Taking Back Sunday

I found this old 'review' I wrote about the then new album of Taking Back Sunday: Where You Want To Be. This must have been August 2004 or so. Travelled to England three times to see them that year, because I thought they would never play Holland. Irony had it that two months later they did play Holland... Funny that now Fred Mascherino is no longer in the band anymore, and that Adam Lazzara has announced that both John Nolan and Shaun Cooper will be rejoining the band to record a new album. That will be the first album in the original line-up since 2002. They've matured since then. I have matured since then. Fuck, that's almost ten years ago.. Taking Back Sunday sure did become a lot more famous than in those first moments. I had a bit of mailcontact with guitarist and founding member Eddie Reyes in 2001, before they even had their album out, will probably be a bit more difficult now... Anyway, here's my old review, obviously written by a fan who gets upset at people bashing his band.

It goes a little something like this...

Sometimes there's a band. They come together, play some music and have fun at it. They make a demo and put some songs on [which used to host free mp3's back then, not only found TBS through it, but also Norma Jean and Fear Before the March of Flames, although the songs were of horribible audio quality]. People start downloading it and a lot of people like it. Why? Because it's friggin awesome. More and more people get to know about the music, because people start telling all their friends about this grand band. There's a vibe growing, a feeling of something beautiful that lies within reach. After a while the band manages to get signed to a record label. Hoorah! (or for some fucks: Sell-outs!) They re-record their demo songs and a couple of new ones. A fabulous album is born! Some people, who have been following the band since those early demo-downloading days, are very happy with this and they order the cd immediately. We now talk March/April 2002. The band gets to play quite a few shows in their home area. Slowly but surely more people hear about this band. Somehow suddenly it seems, they start to become quite big in the U.S.A. It takes quite a bit longer to reach the press in Europe, although England also jumps on the wagon after a bit. Here, right now, in lovely Holland, I haven't read a single letter about the band so far in any music magazine. Thank fuck we have the internet.

Anyway, after a lot of struggling with their sudden fame, an almost band break-up and finally an European tour, their second cd hits the stores. With two new band members, one lyricist/guitarist/singer and one bassist gone, and loads of shows played, one can't possibly expect a copy of the first cd. From now on I'll be less abstract.

Taking Back Sunday - Where You Want To Be

The new record of TBS. The first word that comes to mind: different. At first it feels less intense, more flagmatic, more polished. But then you realise that you shouldn't really compare it to the first record. This is a new record, new beginning, new material to infiltrate your ears and veins. When you pay a closer look to the lyrics, you find that they are far from "at best worse than teenage poetry". Differently structured than the ones on the first cd, but still cleverly haunting at times.

we're talking forever
and you feel almost better
but better
that's no excuse for tonight
you see
it's never bad enough to just leave or give up
but it's never good enough to feel right

from This Photograph is Proof

I'll just say it
live up to your first impression
my best side was your worst invention

from One-Eighty by Summer's rolling off your lips
tensing up your shoulders
just say it
say it is
if it's love
make it hurt
I deserve it

from Bonus Mosh pt II

you're as good as gold
built from distraction
and brilliantly dull
you know,
I had a better friend in my worst plans
then I ever had in either one of you
so what's it to you?

from The Union

And yes, I realise this album isn't full of oneliners like Tell All Your Friends, but all the media are slashing down the lyrics and the music, which is complete bollocks. It all feels too "let's smash this mainstream band back into the gutter again" to me. 80% of the rockpress = frustrated-no-talented-failed-

To the fans I'll say this: Listen closely to the new album, listen. You'll find yourself loving it more and more every time you put on the cd. From the pulsating A Decade Under the Influence to the beautiful quiet New American Classic you'll find grand songs. Stand up for your band, who are great guys (anyone who has been to a show of them would know that) and they make grand music. And hopefully will continue making a lot of grand music.

To anyone who keeps indulging in John Nolan's leaving: listen to Straylight Run. Taking Back Sunday has entered a new era with Fred Mascherino, and I'm kinda loving this era as well. Don't be too emo and bury yourself in the past. Things change, bands evolve and the polar caps are melting.

Straylight Run

To anyone who bashes TBS or any other band for the simple reason that they are "mainstream": Just shut the fuck up will ye? Take this into account: What is mainstream? How did a band become mainstream? To what worldwide extent is that band mainstream?

Follow the questions and you'll figure out the difference between a Britney Spears and a Brand New.

My last words before I'll sit down to greet all the hate comments:

I heart Where you want to be fully and truly. 
Ah, I just looked it up. I wrote this on August 5th, 2004. Good old LiveJournal times...

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