Yellowcard which is a band that has been around a for awhile now, since they’re small beginnings in sunny Jacksonville Florida they’ve helped pave the pop punk scene for today’s bands like label mates All Time Low. Many bands that are around today credit Yellowcard for jump starting this genre and pushing it to the mainstream, not only that but are one of the first bands that have managed to stay relevant after being around for so long.
Since their hit “Ocean Avenue” they’ve been on the tips of every ones tongue and with each release they put out they manage to top the previous, a feat only a few a bands with the same stature as them can claim. A bands with so many lineup changes, one would imagine that they’re days of relevancy were behind them but with each monstrous album they put out easily defies what the skeptics think of them, however when things are too good and you seem like you can’t top yourself maybe turning in the towel isn’t such a bad thing, especially in the case of Yellowcard. Early this year the quintuplet announced that they would be breaking up after a world tour while promoting their last yet to be released self-titled record, this news hit many fans like myself right where it hurts the most in our hearts. Having grown up around their music, I wouldn’t know where to look for artist who are like them or even close.
In celebration to what Yellowcard has done and the impression they’ve left on us. I’ve put together a list of songs by them of what they’ve put out over the years to look back on their talent and their influence.
Off their critical acclaimed album “Ocean Avenue” which pushed them to mainstream, the song “Miles Apart” is a very fast song with that catchy chorus. Violinist Sean Mackin plays over top both guitars which makes it sound so much better, the violin aspect of this band is unique to them and that’s the best part ,on paper it sounds like couldn’t work but this song shows how if you care enough of about the song it can go together so well.
The titular song of “Ocean Avenue” is probably the first song that introduced me to them, the simple verses mixed in with the head banging chorus throws the song in a tangent from soft to hard in a matter of seconds, the breakout hit is the sole reason that Yellowcard is where they’re at today.
Rough Landing, Holly
Two years later they tried to top themselves with 2006’s release of “Lights and Sounds”, unfortunately the record wasn’t as good as it’s predecessor but still had a few songs that made it good like “Rough Landing, Holly”. It has the same elements as many songs of Ocean Avenue but was different in its own way. Lead vocalist Ryan Key still is on top of his game in this track. I could be noted that this record it slightly more mature in tone then that of Ocean Avenue.
Light up the Sky
The following year they released the fan and industry loved “Paper Wall”, this album put them back on top creating some amazing well crafted songs that were both enjoyed by long time fans and newcomers. “Light up the Sky” is filled with classic Yellowcard sound, and Key show off his lyrical work. “Paper Walls” is evidence that they’re changing up their sound and evolving themselves.
When they announced their hiatus in 2008 a lot of fans like me would hope they would come back and be more refreshed. Then in 2011, when they released “When You’re Done Thinking, Say Yes” they came back stronger than ever before. The record easily topped their 2003 album Ocean Avenue as their best album to date, each song was very different from anything they’ve done, the emotions that ran through each song were raw and very powerful. “Forever Young” pushed the band into their deepest depths of themselves and poured into the energy, again Key and company is on top of their game and this song earns them respect from all over.
With You Around
Off the same record, they managed to put hit after hit in the album like “With you Around” brings back the band in full circle in the sense of how they sound. They go back to their roots with this song sounding very simple and rawer just like how they were in Ocean Avenue.
Surface of the Sun
2012 was another big year for the band with their release of “Southern Air” which a very aggressive record filled with many hits a trait that’s now normal for them, to make a record good front to back. “Surface of the Sun” is more or less a story for the band of how they far they’ve come and where they came from, and is easily the strongest song on the record the melodies of Keys voice mixed in with the rest of the band makes the song just as appealing as the rest of them.
Here I Am Alive
The theme for “Southern Air” is more about reflection on your journey of whatever you’re doing, and to not give up on your dreams. The song “Here I am Alive” is a clear representation of the record. Getting Tay Jardine from We Are the in Crowd is perfect combination, her vocal range compliments Keys tone in the song. Along with the vocals the band itself holds its own to make the music be easily memorable as the vocals.
“Awakening” sounds as it’s titled, about waking up and letting go of the past and move on. Not only is a good song, but very therapeutic and relatable. Having your heart broken is something we’ve all been through but songs like this help the pain pass over easier. Also the mature tone of this song is pretty gut wrenching hitting the listener deep in their core, when a song can do that you know it’s good.
Finally,“Lift a Sail” is a very different album, a lot softer than what they’ve done before but a still mature album more so than they’ve ever done before. “Deepest Well” pairs Memphis May Fire’s Matty Mullins clean high pitched vocals and Ryan Keys lower tone voice together in as one and the melody that comes out of it is as if there were some supernatural elements involved with it. The song shows off Yellowcards effectiveness using talent that are just as good as them to make songs that will stand the test of time.
Yellowcard will always have a huge stance in the scene, being one of the godfathers of the genre they could call the shots and changed how the music surrounding them is supposed to be. The fact that even during their hiatus musicians and fans kept them alive by respectfully imitating them, so when they leave the scene for good, imagine the hole that will be left. Ending things on a such a high note is the best way to do it because with that they’ll be remembered for being one the best and most influential band in the scene.
By: Raza Malik