Yellowcard - When You're Through Thinking, Say Yes
Seventh album from the LA punk-poppers - actually, make that pop-punkers - comes out of what singer Ryan Key describes as a preparation process that involved "a ton of ideas". Why they abandoned that Kilimanjaro of creativity, choosing instead to scrabble about on the lower slopes of extremely calculated mainstream guitar pop will, I imagine, forever remain a mystery. The titles intrigue but tap this particular egg and all that seeps out is a whiff of playing to the man, a watery mix of genre favourites All Time Low and early Busted. (Note the specific era. I know my stuff.) The kind of songs designed to fit beautifully into those windswept sequences where Joey would spend an age trying to pick between Dawson and Pacey. Oh yeah, this lot are For Real. For once, a mere ten songs indicates laziness rather than brilliant economy and Key's voice, a straining, nasal weed, suggests they're straight outta high school rather than approaching their fifteenth year. Which, in itself, is an achievement of Mugabe-esque staying power. They're on Hopeless Records, by the way.