The new Taking Back Sunday took over my Friday.

I had a good feeling about Tidal Wave after the singles began trickling out over the summer, but hearing it in full was a “wow” moment. It gave me the same feeling when I heard Happiness Is, which is honestly probably my second-favorite TBS album after Tell All Your Friends, in the sense that it’s aggressive and moody and mature and full. It has a lot of big, building moments that play up the band’s dramatic sense, but a lot of fun, punky rock-and-roll parts too, like the title track.

I’m consistently impressed by the post-2010 reunion version of TBS. On Tidal Wave, my favorite track, at least at the outset, is “Holy Water,” it brings together all the punchy, hooky goodness, harmonies and trade-off vocals and thundering riffs that gave this band its trademark platform, and that it continues to polish to this day. “All Excess,” “You Can’t Look Back,” and “In The Middle Of It All” are other standouts for capturing a real momentum, while “Call Come Running” and raucous opener “Death Wolf” are chock full of anthemic goodness.

Things get slow and heavy on “I Felt It Too,” which builds on the slow-jam goodness of “Nothing At All ” and “Call Me In The Morning” from their past two LPs. Album closer “I’ll Find A Way To Make It What You Want” brings this same feeling home with a full and echoey vibe. I really, really love this version of TBS — as I’ve mentioned previously — and am glad to find that they continue to nurture it.

If there’s one cringeworthy moment, it’s the use of a Yeezy-like vocoder at one point (the specific track escapes me) but it’s so far down in the mix that it is hard to really hear unless you’re paying close attention through headphones.  But it’s literally like 10 seconds. Otherwise, TBS has put forth a record that’s incredibly authentic, both musically aggressive and emotionally mature.

 

“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

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.

~Tidal Wave
Taking Back Sunday, Tidal Wave