Taking Back Sunday Hone New Sound in “Tidal Wave”
Taking Back Sunday are the latest band to contribute to the possible resurgence of pop punk’s mainstream popularity. They’re a pop punk band from Long Island, New York, and they’ve been around since 1999. Their third studio album, Louder Now (2006), was their breakout mainstream album, selling over 900,000 copies and peaking at Number 2 on the United States Billboard 200. Despite having gone through several lineup changes, Taking Back Sunday still manage to remain relevant. In 2014, they released their sixth studio album Happiness Is to positive reviews.
Taking Back Sunday’s seventh studio album, Tidal Wave, is set to release on September 16th, 2016. The first single from the album, “Tidal Wave”, was released on June 28th, and it takes on a different Taking Back Sunday sound that may feel unusual to longtime fans. (In fact, it sounds a little more like The Ramones or The Clash than classic Taking Back Sunday.) The song clocks in at just over two minutes, which isn’t unusual for a pop punk tune. A solid drumbeat opens and closes the song, with a sturdy bassline and brawny layered guitars rounding out the sonic ambiance. A neat little guitar riff at the end of the first two choruses makes “Tidal Wave” seem like it should be played on the beach, blasted through your speakers as a craggy yet catchy summer song. The background and gang vocals featured toward the end add to the tune’s singalong value.
As for the lyrics, “Tidal Wave” emphasizes themes of regret, inescapability, and redemption.
The second verse reads:
Where you gonna hide all the lies you told
Can you buy back any of the soul you sold
When your will is weak and the weight is strong
Where will you go when you can’t go on
What’s gonna happen on your dying day
Will you turn to dirt or find the pearly gates
Oh no no no you don’t know
Oh no no no you don’t know
Likewise, the chorus reads:
You can beg, you can plead, you can cry, you can pray
But nothing’s gonna save you from the tidal wave
You can run, you can hide, you can leave, you can stay
Nothing’s gonna save you from the tidal wave
The message is pretty clear here. No matter what you do or say, you won’t be able to run away from the consequences of your actions. In “Tidal Wave”, that seems to be a deluge of consequences, washing over you completely. The metaphor drawn here is strong, yet Taking Back Sunday manage to get it across without cutting too deep into complex meanings. Not all pop punk bands do this well, so Taking Back Sunday deserve any positive reception they earn from “Tidal Wave”. It’s pretty different compared to their previous sound, but musical experimentation is good for any band.
If you’re interested in listening to “Tidal Wave”, watch the official music video on YouTube below. You can also find the single streaming on Spotify.