The anticipation for Taking Back Sunday’s first full-length, a self-titled effort due out June 28th, with the reunited Tell All Your Friends lineup is at insane highs, at least for this writer. To help make the three weeks fly by until the album is released, the band has put out an EP on iTunes containing three songs, two from the new record as well as an acoustic rendering of “Ghost Man on Third” from Tell All Your Friends.
The first of the new songs is “This Is All Now,” which starts off with some electric-sounding drums from Mark O’Connell and a trademark John Nolan riff on guitar, giving the track an almost Thursday-styled sound, fitting since the bands are old friends and will be hitting the road together for a month starting next week. The extremely strong lyrics, which are sung by Adam Lazzara in possibly his best vocal performance in years, are some of the band’s most controversial. “Can you imagine Christ hitting a child?” is just one of the examples. The song will surely be a favorite from the new album, as it seems to answer the cries for more Nolan vocals after the previous three songs, “Best Places to be a Mom,” “El Paso,” and “Faith (When I Let You Down)” were released.
The following song is the previously released “Best Places to be a Mom” from the new record. The finished version of the song isn’t terribly different from the demo Lazzara released earlier in the year, except for Nolan’s backing vocals being raised in the mix and a guitar riff here and there. With every TBS album, there are two or three songs that find their way into the pantheon of the band’s best songs. “You Know How I Do,” “One Eighty By Summer,” “MakeDamnSure,” and “Everything Must Go” have been highlights from the previous records. Judging by the songs released thus far, “Best Places to be a Mom” may be one of the highlights from the new album. The instrumental work is very strong and the energy from this song is the most TAYF-sounding of the songs released from Taking Back Sunday.
Lastly is “Ghost Man on Third.” When I read that this would be the TAYF song covered for the EP, I was more than a little surprised. The original doesn’t exactly seem ready for an acoustic rendering, as it’s one of the heaviest songs on a pretty heavy record. However, Lazzara and Nolan do a phenomenal job rearranging the song. The only annoyance is that Lazzara’s extremely strong performance is recorded strangely, giving it a hollow sound. However, it doesn’t stop the acoustic version of a fan-favorite from being enjoyable.
So far, four of the eleven songs from the new album have been released. The two strongest have been smartly paired together on this EP. While this doesn’t have much value other than the acoustic version of “Ghost Man on Third,” since the songs will be on the album in a few short weeks, it does its job by building anticipation even higher for a record that fans have been waiting years for.