Review Summary: Yellowcard's original lineup and sound has been discarded by most fans. For better or for worse? Decide for yourself.
Many years ago, I became infatuated with Yellowcard after seeing a performance of "Ocean Avenue" on television. Through a strange twist of fate, I recieved "Where We Stand" as a birthday present. And how surprised I was, upon popping the CD into the player and hearing this feral beast of punk: Metallic guitar work, combined with ridiculously fast drumming, all complete with a violin filling in the background. This was not what I heard on television, obviously, though this is not to say that I was displeased. At all.
I spent days driving my mom up the wall, by blasting the album thoroughly time and time again. I was so fascinated by the furious drive the album contained. It never grew boring or dull. The first thing you hear upon pressing "play", is a shredding riff, combined with Mackin's violin. We hear LP's drum roll, which leads into Dobson shouting out his rebellious, "I-don't-care" style lyrics.
This album is very unique, especially when it is considered that the band was still in high school when it was recorded. Many teenagers these days care about nothing more than "pig squealing" (and other ridiculous faux-pas), but Yellowcard represent a place in punk that no band has ever matched for me. The quality is great, but it retains that scratchy punk feeling.
Dobson shouts out vocals viciously and angrily, though the group's other members lend a helping hand with clean vocals on several tracks. Do not let the first track fool you; this album is not repetitive at all. In fact, it is somewhat experimental. We have the thrashy, spastic "Sorry Try Again", the Street Fighter intro used for "Kids", and, of course, melodic riffs of "April 20th". I can only wonder if that song is about Columbine, or simply being a pothead. Perhaps both? These guys were far from straight-edge.
"Where We Stand" is a pinnacle of old-school punk. It has been abandoned and discarded now that Ryan has taken over the fray. I recommend you give the album a listen, and not for the sake of comparing it to the newer releases, such as the recent "Southern Air". That is the equivalent of comparing a Metallica album to Sonny & Cher. (Quite a dramatic comparison, but a true one.)