No one’s ever accused Yellowcard of being great lyricists. Their lovelorn songs are shackled to simpering sentimentality that barely passes high school poetry, held back by simplistic end rhymes (i.e. away/stay/OK/away on new single, “For You, and Your Denial”). But if their faults are glaring, their charms are equally obvious, foremost being musical adventurousness. While on paper a violin-fronted pop-punk band sounds gimmicky and unwieldy, the finesse and flair of their execution enlivens a style whose freshness predates Justin Bieber’s birth. It goes beyond frontman Sean Macklin’s violin and crisp tenor. Arrangements swell, dip and pivot easily from major to minor key melodies. Tempos range from ballads to rockers. The latter are best, showcasing their facility for hooks and dynamics. (The slower, moodier tracks tend toward weepy malingering.) As formulaic as bands of their ilk can be—see the rest of the bill—Yellowcard deserve credit for their musical daring.
Tues., March 22, 7pm. $25. With All Time Low, Hey Monday + Summer Set. Electric Factory, 421 N. Seventh St. 215.627.1332. livenation.com
PW's Music Issue 2014