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There is no rest for Yellowcard. Since their return from hiatus, they’ve been constantly touring and have just released Southern Air, following 2011’s When You’re Through Thinking, Say Yes. Decisions were made in order to return to the music scene; however, with the response and success they’ve attracted, the band is not wasting any time.
So here we are in 2012 and Southern Air has arrived. From the beginning of Awakening, ‘Bottoms up tonight / I drink to you and I / ‘Cause with the morning comes the rest of my life … I want this to be my awakening,’ Ryan Key’s vocals are in full form and this becomes an instant Yellowcard classic: a sound that is truly distinctive from other bands.
The Surface Of The Sun continues things with a heavy riff, which leads us into the first single from the album. As this review is being written, it is a perfect day for the beginning of Spring. Always Summer tells exactly how it is: an upbeat song to listen to in summer, or better yet in spring. It provides a long violin solo that fans of Yellowcard have been awaiting for quite some time.
Things are slowed down a bit for the next single. Here I Am Alive features We Are The In Crowd vocalist Tay Jardine, and is co – written by Patrick Stump from Fall Out Boy. As we go further through the album, Sleep in the Snow and A Vicious Kind continue to define the sound of Yellowcard and I understand why I am listening to them today.
Telescope derives back to the sound before the band’s hiatus. As Ryan Key sings ‘My only hope / You’re my telescope’, it is an emotional piece that is a tribute to his Aunt Stephanie who passed away. This leads into the fast and exhilarating sound of Rivertown Blues. The vocals are stronger than ever in check with the lead guitar.
Yellowcard is one band that is exceptional at performing acoustic songs. Ten is another example that continues to overcome (if there was) doubt from any critics. No better choice than the title track Southern Air could close the album. Influenced by their time apart, the song reflects with the lyrics ‘This southern air is in my lungs / It’s in every word of song / Seems the only truth I know / This will always be home’.
With only ten songs, the album is concise and simply has no flaws. There is no doubt Yellowcard are veterans of pop–punk and are stronger than ever. The hiatus has only done them justice as this is one of Yellowcard’s best albums to date, if not the best. Yellowcard hit Australian shores later this month.
September 18 – The Tivoli, Brisbane – 18+
September 20 – The Hi-Fi, Melbourne – 18+
September 21 – The Hi-Fi, Melbourne – 18+
September 22 – UNSW Roundhouse, Sydney – All Ages