Most people weren’t sure what to expect when emo icons Taking Back Sunday reinstated their original lineup in 2010, seven years after guitarist John Nolan and bassist Shaun Cooper left the band. However the time apart seems to have been a blessing in disguise—and the members’ musical and ….
The relationships amongst the members of Long Island rock quintet Taking Back Sunday could quite easily be compared to a crackling live wire—rather dangerous, yet oddly captivating and exciting. Even aside from the infamous departure of guitarist John Nolan and bassist Shaun Cooper in 2003, the band’s revolving door of supporting cast has served to create a list of players who are now household names in their own right due to their time in the band (see: Fred Mascherino, Jesse Lacey, Matt Rubano, Matt Fazzi). All the while, the volatile inner workings of the band have served to create a myriad of outcomes, be it the explosive 2002 debut Tell All Your Friends, the mainstream breakthrough of 2006’s Louder Now, or the shockingly disappointing 2009 outing New Again.
Reuniting the lineup from their debut album, 2002’s Tell All Your Friends, Taking Back Sunday seek to recapture the fire of that early lineup on their eponymous fifth album. Nearly a decade later, we find the post-hardcore outfit a little older and a little wiser, but sounding no worse for the wear, with John Nolan and Shaun Cooper sliding back into the lineup as if they had never left. The pair’s seamless return works in the band’s favor, reinvigorating their sound with the chemistry that brought them to the national stage without being a tired retread of things they’ve already done.
Review Summary: So what's it feel like to be a ghost?You’d think that by LP5, lines like “For Christ sake, we’re just kids” couldn’t possibly still be escaping the guy who hollered the same base adolescent sentiment nine years ago, but, somewhat comfortingly, somewhat disappointingly, here are Taking Back Sunday, the same as Taking Back Sunday have ever been: perpetually terrified high school seniors, straining their vocal cords to read vague, faux-poetic livejournal posts about their ex-girlfriends over big, loud, half-time choruses. Which is fine, honestly; it’s only fitting that the self-titled, this-is-who-we-are album from Taking Back Sunday should sound like every album Taking Back Sunday have ever made, because hey, that was one good album. But there’s something disheartening about the constant regurgitating of that dual-vocal, melodramatic pop song they sing, because every time they spew the same weepy bullshit they lose more of the charm that made their weepy bullshit so scream-your-guts-out appealing in the first place.
On some level, this still doesn't feel real. The 2003 split of Taking Back Sunday was so well publicized, so gossiped about and so downright bitter that even the most hardcore TBS fans had long ago given up the notion of guitarist/vocalist John Nolan and bassist Shaun Cooper reconciling with frontman Adam Lazzara, guitarist Eddie Reyes and drummer Mark O'Connell. So even though the fivesome have buried the requisite hatchets and completed a new album together (their first in nine years), there's still an air of trepidation surrouding the whole proceedings.