Yellowcard - Lights And Sounds

Britainís understanding of Yellowcard is a reference to a warning in football, but in America Yellowcard are a band that have been together for nine years. They've had three US American hit singles, won an MTV Video Music Award, released a well received album "Ocean Avenue", performed on "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno" and toured solidly in the process. Not very well known in the UK, Yellowcard hope to rectify this with the release of their new album "Lights & Sounds"

Pop and punk are areas most rock bands excel in, but Yellowcard take this one step further by adding classical into the melting pot. Title track "Lights And Sounds" has multi instrumentalist Ryan Key on bass, guitar and vocals. This track is unfussy rock, played loud and proud with the merest hint of emo. Vocally itís forthright and direct with a well-constructed melody to work around. There's a hope and optimism aplenty especially with the mature lyric "I've got a way to work this out".

"City Of Devils" is what is known as the power ballad. It's moody, restrained with heavy drumming from Longview Parsons. Elevating this track to a higher level is Sean Mackin on violin who is joined by a full orchestra. Yellowcard have depth, compassion and many different layers, which makes them original. Thankfully it doesnít veer into over melodramatic territory, but it is genuinely moving and reminds me in a good way of the Green Day single "Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life)" with honest and confessional lyrics that strike a chord. "Waiting Game" carries on the
Orchestral rock wall of sound that while ambitious works really well and I wonder why more bands don't adopt this style.

The success of Green Day has certainly rubbed off on these boys who are not afraid to try something new and exciting. "How I Go" has the quiet mellow sound of the acoustic guitar, piano, orchestral touches and some military drumming. Using a story telling device, recalling child like memories this has additional vocals by Natalie Maines who duets with angelic beauty with Ryan Key which sounds not unlike a less gothic Evanescence, but with less mystical leanings.

"Lights And Sounds" is a very different rock album. It's not just the classical touches but the complex arrangements and lyrics that resonate in the memory, leaving a lasting impression of eclectic worthy songsmiths

Nicholas Paul Godkin

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