“Tell All Your Friends” – Taking Back Sunday

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Having been ten years since NY-based rock band Taking Back Sunday debuted their first album, “Tell All Your Friends,” and with several shows lined up along the east coast in November, here’s a ten year anniversary review of the record that started it all:

To me, Taking Back Sunday is like a mosquito. Every summer, they just seem to show up when you least expect them. I have seen Taking Back Sunday four times now I believe, and I have never purchased a ticket to go see them alone. The first time I saw them, I wasn’t feeling it at all. The second time I liked one of the ten songs they played, and the third time I was screaming along to every word. The difference between the second and third times was that a friend turned me on to Tell All Your Friends, the debut studio album put out by Taking Back Sunday.The fourth time I saw them, I was lucky enough to hear them play this album in its entirety.

Tell All Your Friends opens with “You Know How I Do,” a pretty awesome song which may or may not reference “Fight Like A Brave” by The Red Hot Chili Peppers. “Bike Scene” is stellar as well, but for me it’s all about the third song. “Cute Without The ‘E’ (Cut From The Team)” is this band’s greatest achievement without exception. Everything about this song is just so catchy and fun even if it is about a broken heart. You just want to dance when you hear it. The next song, “There’s No ‘I’ In Team,” is also a great song with a cool history attached. It uses many Brand New lyrics, yet alters certain words so they attack that band. For those who don’t know, Brand New’s lead singer, Jesse Lacey, was originally in Taking Back Sunday but left and started Brand New after Taking Back Sunday guitarist John Nolan slept with his girlfriend. The entire first Brand New record is about this incident. This song, along with “Timberwolves At New Jersey,” tell Taking Back Sunday’s side of the fight. The feud is long since over now however, with both bands having buried the hatchet. “Great Romances Of The 20th Century” is another sweet song and might be my second favorite on the record right now. I’d be lying if I didn’t say “Cute Without the ‘E'” was my favorite. Apparently, there was supposed to be a movie quote at the beginning of the song but the record company cut it out without telling the band. What the quote was I’m not sure, but they played one before they took the stage the third time I saw them, so perhaps that was the one they used. “Ghost Man On Third” is alright, but it’s just too slow and dramatic for most of my moods. Also, it sounds like it’s 20 minutes long, even though it’s only four. “Timberwolves” rocks; I remember first hearing it in the soundtrack to the band documentary, “Riding In Vans With Boys,” and looking up which band wrote it. The intro riff is just really cool-sounding. “The Blue Channel” is a groovy song also. Apparently, the studio sped up the piano melody at the beginning of the song; it was supposed to be slow and haunting instead of the bright speedy keys we hear instead. “You’re So Last Summer” is another sick song on the record and contains my favorite lyrics on the album: “All I need to know is that I’m something you’ll be missing.” The last song, “Head Club,” provides a great closing to the record with the declaration that this is the last song his ex will ever receive, a fitting end to a record about exes and being a heartbroken teenager. However, before you pass this off as a standard emo album that sounds like all the other records nowadays, just remember these guys did it first, so the blame or praise falls on their lap.

-Matthew Koerner

Recommended Jams: Cute Without The ‘E’ (Cut From The Team), Bike Scene, Great Romances Of The 20th Century

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