Yellowcard Lift A Sail
Release Date: October 7, 2014
Label: Razor & Tie
[xrr rating= 9/10]
After the departure of long time drummer Longineu Warren Parsons III, Yellowcard welcomed Nate Young of Anberlin to the band for their latest album Lift A Sail. Their first release on label Razor & Tie.
Violinist Sean Mackin leads the album with the opener “Convocation”, a beautifully written instrumental piece that truly spotlights his talent. “One Bedroom” and “Make Me So” are the highlights of the album. “One Bedroom”, a love song with an unexpected heavy guitar solo at the end. “Make Me So” is the catchiest track on the album that will have everyone hitting the repeat button for days. The guitar riff you hear at 1:51 will surely be a favorite of fans and it has that signature Yellowcard sound which is refreshing to hear as this album is so different musically for them.
“Madrid” and “My Mountain” are the most emotional tracks on the album. Vocalist Ryan Key penning “Madrid” about his wife appropriately titled after the city where they first met, and “My Mountain” about the death of his Grandfather who passed away earlier this year. “Transmission Home” features strong guitars and crashing drums that feel like they build up as the song continues. “The Deepest Well” features guest vocals from Matty Mullins of Memphis May Fire who compliments Key’s voice nicely on the track. “MSK” is another track where Mackin shines on the violin. He’s really heard on this album, with nothing but Key’s vocals, piano, and some sparse electronics on the track.
On tracks “Crash The Gates” and “Illuminate” the band goes back to their early 90’s alt rock roots giving fans louder guitars, and heavy drums. Ryan Mendez channels their early influences, turning that into fresh raging guitar riffs. These particular tracks are really what push the band away from that familiar pop punk sound we’re so used to hearing from them.
Now nine studio albums into their career Lift A Sail showcases the growth of the band over the years producing a heavier and more emotional sound, something different from what longtime fans are used to. There are a decent amount of ballads on the album with most of the tracks featuring a slower tempo. “Fragile and Dear” being a solid example of that along with the album’s title track. While I wish there were more songs like “Make Me So” on this record all in all, it’s a great rock album and showcases strong songwriting. Lift A Sail is a new sound for Yellowcard, but they stay true to themselves and don’t seem to be “trying” to do something different on purpose. I think fans will hear that on this record and truly appreciate that and love the album for what it is. For new fans – if you weren’t a Yellowcard fan already, you’ll surely be one by the end of this record.
Lift A Sail will be released October 7th via Razor and Tie. Be sure to catch them on tour this fall with Memphis May fire and special guests Emarosa.
02: Transmission Home
03: Crash The Gates
04: Make Me So
05: One Bedroom
06: Fragile and Dear
09: The Deepest Well
10: Lift A Sail
12: My Mountain
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