Essential albums: Taking Back Sunday

Emo boy bands are everywhere now, wearing women’s skinny jeans, and whining about lost loves and have long song titles that have nothing to do with any of the lyrics of the actual song. These bands may seem like a fad, but there is always the one group that was the pioneer. The Strokes were amazing and one of a kind and practically a Velvet Underground tribute band, but then came the wave of all the post-grunge, leather-jacket-wearing New York bands, and it was hard to remember when it was original. Same with Green Day in the 90s, whose pop-punk at the time was basically an Operation Ivy/Screeching Weasel tribute. Then came the waves and waves of new “punk” whose fans were not even born to be able to listen to the influences.

So, Taking Back Sunday may strike you as another “scene” band with screaming fangirls, a permanent fixture on the Warped Tour, in hot topic sweatbands. I will make the claim that when they came out in 2001, they were pretty original. Although they have obvious influences from hardcore, emo, and classic rock, they broke it through to the mainstream. (Although many would also fault them for this as cheapening the punk name). I would say one of the most notable qualities is having both the lead singer and guitarist share the vocals, in a call-and-response where one sings semi-melodically, and the other has a more visceral yell. This has been copied since then more times than I can count. Basically every rock band on Myspace.

TBS have three albums out, with the last two released on a major-label, and the sound is getting more and more polished and radio-friendly. They are still good, but you can hear the major-label influence. Also, guitarist (and yeller) John Nolan left the band after this album (and started the encredibly shitty band Straylight Run) and without his vocals and songwriting the other stuff is not as good.

By claiming to like Taking Back Sunday, some people would probably say that strips me of my cred. I’d say that this is just a really addicting album, probably one that encapsulates the sound of popular punk/emo of the early 2000’s.

I may also have to claim that “Cute Without the ‘E’ (Cut From the Team)” is probably one of my top five favorite songs (and video) ever. So addictive. Although every song on here can get stuck in your head.

I’s also like to add that this blog gets about 25% of its traffic from mentioning the name Adam Lazarra (the lead singer) who is probably one of the most searched people on the internet. He is a total emo heathrob poster boy. He is also knows for intense histrionics while singing. Usually people find my blog while searching for things like “does Adam Lazarra have a girlfriend?” or “Adam Lazarra nude pics” (I don’t actually have those on here anywhere”.

I did get a chance to see them live in 2003, and it was quite amamzing. I have never seen fans so much in a daze of utter devotion, screaming every word to every lyric. Despite your opinion, you couldn’t help but be impressed.

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