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Yellowcard
When You're Through Thinking, Say Yes
Hopeless Records
www.yellowcardrock.com


When the word hiatus comes up in a band's history, negative implications are automatically formed. So in 2008 when Yellowcard cancelled their European tour and were quoted to be on an "indefinite hiatus", fans feared the inevitable. However, on August 1st 2010, with a simple Facebook announcement, it was made known that the inevitable was in fact not going to happen, but rather, a new album was in the works and the band was reforming. Ok, so its now 2011 and we're sitting here with a new set of songs under the title When You're Through Thinking, Say Yes. Now what? Deep breath… put headphones on and enjoy.

The new record sounds like Yellowcard. Sure you'd think that was a given, but the Yellowcard I'm referring to is reminiscent of Ocean Avenue, an album that most fans can track their love affair with the band back to. Take their official single "For You, And Your Denial"; the violin breaks out the energy from the first moment. Then, in true Yellowcard fashion, moments later all hell lets loose as thrashing guitars and head-banging drums join in the fun. This song makes me miss bands of the early 2000's with their strong emotion-ridden lyrics, percussion sections full of alternative-speaker-blowing goodness and an occasional harmony or melody, just to balance everything out. The song "Hang You Up" actually takes the sentiment to another genre of bands circa 2000. The light airy guitar flows from melody to melody. And like that of Plain White T's, the lyrics speak of love while our friend the violin provides a beautiful background sentiment.

"Soundtrack" was the next song that grabbed my attention and literally from the first guitar strum. Going back to that alternative way of life, again I'm taken to a few years back where tours consisted of acts like The Classic Crime and Anberlin (circa Never Take Friendship Personal). The synchronized guitars are easily the most attractive element to this selection. And the finger work from these fellas shows that they are talented beyond belief. Ryan's vocals add just enough of a choral aspect that you're still instantly pulled into each and every lyric. I see this song appealing to many fans and an unbelievable amount of fun in a live environment.

So up until now, one wouldn't have really been able to tell that there had been eight years between Ocean Avenue and this new album. Sure they've matured, but it wasn't staring you in the face... that was, until the last song "Be The Young". The intro is full of dramatic chord progressions and for a moment, no one takes lead. It's about as beautiful as an alternative sound can be. Eventually the crazy-fingers guitar man does come out for a little dance along the strings. Things do quiet down for a breath, but that incredible mixture of notes comes back out for the chorus. This is the perfect feeling to leave the listener with. It's a song that begs the question, "So, are they back? Like for good?"

Let's hope.

-Rachel Fredrickson

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