Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Taking Back Sunday is New Again tonight at the Masquerade

Posted By on Wed, Jun 17, 2009 at 8:55 PM

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By Azia Squire

Taking Back Sunday with Anberlin and Envy on the Coast. $25. 6:30 p.m. The Masquerade (HEAVEN), 695 North Ave. 404-577-8178. www.masq.com.

Fresh off the tense departure of guitarist/vocalist Fred Mascherino (who inspired "Capital M-E") Taking Back Sunday has a new line-up, sound and album, conveniently titled New Again. "Sink Into Me," the album’s first single best illustrates the changes, as it’s more stadium rock than the angst-ridden instrumentation and depressed guitars the band usually pulls off so well.

One element missing from this album is Taking Back Sunday's penchant for duel vocals. The absence strips some of the songs of the uniqueness heard in earlier releases such as "Cute Without the ‘E’ (Cut From the Team)," the first single from Tell All Your Friends. Released when John Nolan of Straylight Run was still in the band, the track's strength is the evident solidarity of the two vocalists (Adam Lazzara and Nolan) fighting each other for dominance. Now it seems like lead singer Lazzara is mostly fighting his own voice, and it leaves the melody a bit thin.

One of the tracks on New Again that dodges the thin bullet is "Everything Must Go," on which Lazzara passionately handles the music alone. "Cut Me Up Jenny" is catchy and energetic, much like "Phasers Set to Stun" from the second album Where You Want to Be. Other highlights include "Swing" and "Summer, Man."

With only one vocalist, the revamped Taking Back Sunday line-up will take a bit of getting used. But overall, Adam Lazzara has proven that whether there’s Fred, or John Nolan, or heck, even Jesse Lacey, he’s all fans really need for a decent TBS album. (WEA/Reprise) 4 out of 5 stars

Taking Back Sunday with Anberlin and Envy on the Coast. $25. 6:30 p.m. The Masquerade (HEAVEN), 695 North Ave. 404-577-8178. www.masq.com.

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