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When the alternative rock legends Yellowcard announced that they were calling it quits, many were disappointed. Now, that final album is here. The band will tour for the album then hang up their coats for good. Their tenth and final studio album is the eponymous Yellowcard, and its a mixed bag.
The album is a sendoff, as it appropriately should be, and encompasses a lot of what Yellowcard have built themselves up to in their career. The band was always special because of violinist Sean Mackin providing that extra, unique touch to each song, and that's evident on this album. Proud violin brings in the opening track 'Rest In Peace', while also leading the emotional ending 'Fields & Fences'. The album's closer is a country-tinged one, being lead by reverberating electric guitar, a folky acoustic, and Ryan Key's somber vocals. The violin adds a lot to the song, making it sound like the appropriate farewell from the band. It sounds like something you'd hear at a funeral, the clouds grey and empty with a thankful but sad atmosphere. The melodies are sweet as the band builds up to one big, final climax before the song is taken out with a pretty violin. The band buried the hatchet appropriately with this one.
There are some rockier moments that won't tug on your heartstrings in that way, thankfully. 'A Place We Set A Fire' takes its riff straight out of the mid-2000s, the band's prime. The bass tone is absolutely awful, but the song makes up for it in its sweet, sweet nostalgic vibes. The choruses take you back to your high school days (or if you're in high school, reminds you of the present). The five-minute spanning 'Savior's Robes' brings some urgency to table and provides the album with some final heaviness. The choruses take you back similarly to 'Place', the harmonies and melodies sounding exactly like the niche of that era.
That's really all of the praise you can give the album, sadly. The rest of it is plagued by poor decision or simply boring songs. From the beginning with 'Rest In Peace', you know the album is destined for something that's not 100%. The song starts off promising but ends in a bland fashion, a very uninspired array of guitars, melody, and arpeggios. 'Got Yours' is also a song that just comes and goes due to its forgettable structure. Repetitiveness and just being plain boring is what stops the country vibes of 'I'm A Wrecking Ball' from being any good.
The rest of the errors are mainly decision based. No one can be quite sure as to why the band decided to brickwall and distort the drums of the intro of 'What Appears' to hell, and then do it again with everything at the end of the song. Nor will we be able to understand why they included the album's piano ballad in the front half of the record, right when momentum was starting to build. Why 'The Hurt Is Gone', an already boring song, goes on for over six minutes is also a good question to be asked.
Yellowcard's final album isn't perfect, but it ends just how it needed to. It's a summation of the band's decade-and-a-half career, and really shows why the band made it to where they are now. They were an important band to alternative rock and the whole emo subculture it carried, and it's sad to see them go. All good things must come to an end, and Yellowcard is no exception. The memories will carry on.
Favorite Tracks: Fields & Fences, A Place We Set A Fire, Savior's Robes
Least Favorite Tracks: What Appears, I'm A Wrecking Ball, The Hurt Is Gone
Rating: 68 / 100