It’s been rather a tumultuous time in Taking Back Sunday as of 2010. With the unexpected departure of both Matt Rubano and Matt Fazzi, fans were left pondering where the band would go from there. In an even more unexpected twist, John Nolan and Shaun Cooper from the band’s ‘Tell All Your Friends’ era returned to the fold and now the band are back on top form. Does this reunited line-up mean their latest, self-titled release is a sequel to the album they worked together on all those years ago? Not in the slightest. In fact, this album is a breath of fresh air.
‘El Paso’ welcomes you to their self-titled effort with a venomous kick. Opening with a high dose of aggression, the band move on to their more anthemic ‘Faith (When I Let You Down)’. Songs like ‘Best Places To Be A Mom’ and ‘This Is All Now’ are a throwback to that older style the band indulged in back in the day; a refreshing incarnation of their identifiable sound.
With a more sombre sound, ‘Sad Savior’ takes a moment to break up the high energy tracks with an inviting calmness and delicate guitar teamed with the occasional musical eruption. With a great base to most tracks (the opening guitar lick to ‘It Doesn’t Feel A Thing Like Falling’ for one) the band create that great punch from their music, drawing the listener’s attention to various flaunts and features from song to song.
There’s a certain familiarity within many bands’ sound, but bands who really hit the scene circa. 2004/05 are the bands that, whenever they release new music, tend to recapture that essence and send you on a serious nostalgia trip. Taking Back Sunday are like old friends who – even though they change every time you meet again – have still got that quality at their core.