Here’s a pro tip for all bands looking to reform and start doing things full time again. If you need inspiration on how to do it right, look no further than Yellowcard. Since returning from their hiatus, they have gone from strength to strength. Comeback effort ‘When You’re Through Thinking Say Yes’ was universally well received (we love it), and just as it was representative of a band who were hungry, so is follow up ‘Southern Air’.
Opening things here is ‘Awakening’, and it’s the type of song that Yellowcard do best. A huge, building chorus and Sean Mackin’s violin take centre stage, providing that unique edge that Yellowcard alone have. It starts off the album with the biggest of bangs. Up next, ‘The Surface of The Sun’ shows Yellowcard’s more pop rock side. It’s nothing short of anthemic, and Mackin’s violin again adds that much needed edge.
It’s probably fair to say that while Sean Mackin’s violin work is a notable feature in all of Yellowcards back catalogue, it’s in ‘Southern Air’ that it really seems to be at the forefront of the band’s creative spark. You only have to listen to the incredible solo in ‘Always Summer’ to see it in full bloom, and it’s intertwined magnificently throughout the entire record. It never feels out of place, going someway to proving the effort and time that would have gone into this album.
What can be said about ‘Southern Air’ is that it’s not quite as instant as most of the bands previous efforts. At only ten tracks long, giving it a few extra spins never really feels like a chore, so once it does click it’s fantastic and most albums would benefit from being this kind of length.
Closing out the album is a run of three songs beginning with ‘Rivertown Blues’, an absolutely thumping effort that pushes and pushes and will prove to be a definite fan favourite. ‘Ten’ is an acoustic number of the type that Yellowcard do so well. It never drags and never seems forced, and ends up flowing very nicely indeed. Finishing things up is title track ‘Southern Air’, a worthy closer that’s bouncy in all the right places that has an extended outro that will have you head banging along with pleasure.
What more can be said about Yellowcard really? They’re pop punk legends and ‘Southern Air’ goes no way to harming that reputation at all. Long live Yellowcard.