Taking Back Sunday

Together Again?

The Set List
By Brian Washburn

Music reunions make headlines only if the band is a chart-topping, platinum-selling artist who have gone through a bitter divorce only to reunite years later in an attempt to either get the old magic back or to get out of bankruptcy. And while these reunion bands headline the news because of their influence on music culture, other reunions get the back seat because of the lack of buzz created during their music tenure. This case is a little bit of both.

Taking Back Sunday have been a band for almost a decade. They are still going strong and even released a successful album last year. However, several music fans are all in agreement that every TBS record after their debut “Tell All Your Friends” fell way short of living up to the poetic and elaborate lyrics combined with hook-laden guitar and drum driven rock music. For those who grew up in the highlight of the early ’00s alternative rock or “emo” spotlight, this is their “Appetite for Destruction”, “Nevermind” and Sgt. Pepper all in one.

Except the band imploded. Guitarist and one of the primary songwriters John Nolan left the band alongside bassist Shaun Cooper because of friction between lead singer/songwriter Adam Lazzara over allegations of drug abuse and infidelity between Lazzara and Nolan’s sister. While this has always been the speculation around the pop-punk/alternative rock music scene, none of these allegations have been confirmed.

Lazzara and TBS continued down their hard-pounding alternative rock path and endured moderate radio success with every release, though the talent and music paled in comparison to “TAYF.” Nolan and Cooper founded Straylight Run, whose melodic and slightly experimental piano rock featured brilliant songwriting at times, but never quite achieved radio or mainstream success.

But the conflict can be put to rest. Rumors have been circulating on the Web for about a week and from the looks of it — a new promo picture resembling the old TBS line-up is on the Taking Back Sunday Web site — the original line-up looks to be wiping the slate clean and reuniting.

This might not seem like it is a life changing, music industry altering decision or event, but for some it really is. “Tell All Your Friends”, along with a few other albums early last decade, spawned a musical sub-culture catering to teens with long hair, tight pants, piercings and catchy, alternative rock to rival the utter disaster of tunes coming through the speakers in that era. Anyone remember Limp Bizkit?

For any further reassurance as to how monumental this album was to the specific section of music fanatics in the pop-punk/alternative rock scene, go no further than to the Absolute Punk Web site and view the thousands of message boards declaring “TAYF” a phenomenal album.

No one is not really sure where this reunion is heading. It could give fans a glimpse into what could have been if TBS had not imploded; a seemingly flawless display of brilliant songwriting with catchy rock hooks that could have taken the early 2000s radio by storm, much like Fall Out Boy and My Chemical Romance. Or maybe it will simply be a reunion tour playing “TAYF” in its entirety, which would be a breath of fresh air for fans during the era who have seemingly checked out from that style of music. Either way for those who don’t know the significance of the situation, take a listen to the album with open ears, and for the others who know what this means, pick your jaw up off the floor and get ready for a blast from the past — and hopefully a future revitalization of what should have been.

Brian Washburn is the founder of DBW and is currently working on a way to revolutionize the music industry.

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