As pop rock as they come, Yellowcard’s tenth album is definitely going to appeal to a mainstream rock crowd offering little in the way of excitement. Opening Rest in Peace lacks such energy, it sounds like the band are just going through the motions particularly in the vocals.
This is a problem that’s present throughout the ten tracks but it’s not the only faults found here. The effects that are present on What Appears are irritating with the drums having a kind of static beat that could be mistaken for a bad production job.
Songs like Got Yours & Savior’s Robes have a bit more ‘zip’ about them but result in a borish & bland tune that wouldn’t sound amiss on any mainstream radio station. It’s ‘safe’ music that won’t inspire or excite, the opposite of what rock music is about.
Even the ballads sound flat, Leave a Light One somehow managing to make a piano sound like one of the most boring instruments out there. Singer Ryan Key has plenty of range but when left exposed here it doesn’t light up the song.
At almost 6 and a half minutes, The Hurt is Gone is easily the worst song on the album with a jarring beat that repeats for way too much of the song. This is a song that should have been half the length & it still wouldn’t have been any good.
Thankfully it’s not all pop-rock rubbish, Empty Street is a catchy Little Rock number that has a drum beat that had me thinking of Def Leppard (seriously, listen to the intro!). It’s the most exciting song on an album that is heavy with the ballads choosing to end with a 7 minute one that thinks switching the pace with half the song to go will make it more listenable.
A chore to listen to, Fields & Fences can’t end quickly enough. A feeling that will creep over you the more you listen to this plain pop-rock offering.
1. Rest in Peace
2. What Appears
3. Got Yours
4. A Place We Set Afire
5. Leave a Light On
6. The Hurt is Gone
7. Empty Street
8. I’m a Wrecking Ball
9. Savior’s Robes
10. Fields & Fences
Yellowcard - Yellowcard (Hopeless Records)