Yellowcard: Southern Air

Last year, Yellowcard put out a record that not only marked the return of a fantastic pop punk band, but also marked a new chapter in the band’s musical journey. To me, that album was the best thing the band have done since Ocean Avenue, and now the band have really stepped it up by releasing a new album in back to back years that is on the same level as last years album and Ocean Avenue as well.

Southern Air has made this revamp completely official at this point. It’s nice to see this band writing new and good music again after what seems like an eternity. Ocean Avenue came out almost ten years ago and everything the band did following that album up until their hiatus in 2008 was absolutely terrible. It’s almost like listening to a whole new band. The hiatus really did them good because all their songs are much more thought out, matured, but haven’t lost touch of their roots. They still sing about relationships, heartbreaks and summer vacations. I would even argue that “Always Summer” is the closest thing we’ll get to another “Ocean Avenue” from this new and improved band and that’s ok. “Ocean Avenue” was great back then and still is great, but we don’t want them to try to rewrite that album like what they did with Lights and Sounds and Paper Walls.

I really wish I had been able to see them back in the day when they were at the height of their career so that I can compare it to their show I saw this summer. They were part of this year’s Vans Warped Tour as one of the many rotating headliners and I gotta say, I was almost blown away by their performance. They really treated like a stadium show and they sounded absolutely dynamite. They played mainly songs from Ocean Avenue and When You’re Through Thinking, Say Yes, but they did play “Always Summer”, which was well received since it had been released earlier and “Ocean Avenue” was obviously mental. Overall, not one of my favorites and I wasn’t really going in with any expectations to begin with, but they really surprised and I totally enjoyed their show. I’d definitely see them again.

I’m really glad that Yellowcard are back and I hope that they can keep pumping out some more killer records. They may never get back on top like they were in 2003, but just knowing they’re out there making every night feel like the perfect summer night is alright by me.

Luke Helker

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