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Album Review: Tidal Wave by Taking Back Sunday

Alt rock luminaries Taking Back Sunday release their seventh studio album Tidal Wave via Hopeless Records on 16th September. You’ve got to give the band credit where it’s due, they’ve managed to reinvent themselves and keep going while many of their contemporaries have imploded or faded away.

“By the time most bands get to this point in their career they are pretty set in what they do but we were really mindful about approaching our musical ideas differently this time around and staying true to where the five of us are in our lives right now,” frontman Adam Lazzara explains. “This album is truly an expression of what Taking Back Sunday is during this snapshot in time as opposed to what we think people expect from our band.”

While not being a thousand miles removed from what you’d expect from the band, it something a little different. Different in a good way? It’s pretty hard to say. On one hand it’s good that the band have kept their sound fresh and moved with the times, whilst it would probably be more than fair to say the band have moved into a bland and almost boring sound.

The press release for the album describes Taking Back Sunday as being the Pearl Jam of the scene in the sense that they’ve consistently plugged along and continued to reinvent themselves regardless of what was trendy at the time. Like Pearl Jam, they’ve become so middle of the road it’s almost painful. Take ‘Fences’ as the perfect example, it’s so safe and devoid of energy you can’t help but be almost bitterly disappointed. This is safe American Dad rock.

Tracks like ‘All Excuses’ and ‘Holy Water’ hint at a band that were once pretty good and essentially sum up what Taking Back Sunday have become. They’re decent rock songs and nothing more, something that you wouldn’t sound out of place in the repartee of a pub rock band. None of the tracks on Tidal Wave are particularly bad, they’re just so bland. Title track and lead single ‘Tidal Wave’ should have set you expectations low.

It must be noted that in a rare exceptional moment, ‘I Felt It Too’ is an astounding track. Its slow pace complements the emotion of the vocals perfectly. Tidal Wave is by no means a band album, its just not at the level you’d expect of Taking Back Sunday.

AD Rating 5.5/10

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