There have been an unfortunate amount of breakups over the past few months - maybe even more than normal. It’s always a bummer when we are forced to say goodbye to our favorite bands, so we thought it’d be great to do a PropertyOfZack Friday Discussion on Bands Who Broke Up Too Soon (and released two or less albums), in the eyes of our staff members. Check out our list below and feel free to reblog with some of your most missed and beloved bands as well!
Tigers Jaw, by Zack Zarrillo
Tigers Jaw’s upcoming breakup is bittersweet. For years, both fans and people on the inside of the industry said, “This is their year.” We waited and waited, and in many ways their breakup will forever keep us waiting. The band put out two fantastic full-lengths, a great split with Balance & Composure, and numerous other releases over the years. They never quite took advantage of it though. College, life, and what appeared to be disorganization got in the way time after time. We’re currently watching bands like Balance & Composure and Touché Amoré quickly climb their own ranks, and Tigers Jaw should be right there with them - but they’re not. Watching a Tigers Jaw live set was and will always be a special experience. You get wrapped into the set, you feel young, and you feel light. It’s a shame we won’t get to continue that experience with the band after the coming summer.
The Format, by Erik van Rheenen
Oh, the bands we lost in the name of Fun. Jack Antonoff jumped off jangly indie-rock darlings Steel Train to tackle guitar for the project, and jack-of-all-trades Andrew Dost parted ways with experimental folk outfit Anathallo. But the loss that smarted the most for music fans was knowing that once singer Nate Ruess started the band, The Format was pretty much dead to rights.
As fantastic as Fun. has proven to be, the band hasn’t quite bottled the spastic theatrics and romantics that became the calling card of The Format. Ruess cut his teeth as a bombastic frontman on the duo’s indie pop debut record Interventions + Lullabies in 2003, but 2006’s Dog Problems is a surefire masterpiece. Ruess and multi-instrumentaist Sam Means sounded synergistic on lush tracks like “Oceans” and “Inches and Falling,” and if you hear the early Queen-ish leanings from Some Nights on the title track, you’re probably not just hearing things.
Aim and Ignite and Some Nights are nearly-flawless cuts of Ruess’s flair for songwriting, but how could Means and Ruess have tag-teamed a follow-up to the sweet slice of crazy that was Dog Problems? Unfortunately, it looks like we’ll never find out.
Acceptance, by Erik van Rheenen
What the hell ever happened to Jason Vena? Besides a guest spot on an Ivoryline tune and a cameo on All Time Low’s “Outlines,” one of the most top-notch vocalists in the alternative rock scene up and disappeared with Acceptance. And it’s too bad, since Vena and company look to be doomed to one-album wonder status with just Phantoms to their name. But oh, what a one album it is.
Layered guitars and Aaron Sprinkle’s gentle producing touch abound on the record, which debuted on Columbia Records in 2005. That major label pressure is one that most bands cave under, but Acceptance rose to the challenge on Phantoms, a catchy, poppy album laden with massive hooks and moody attitudes. Vena’s vocals are the clear highlight, belting pristinely over ballad “Different” and killer “So Contagious.” It bottled the pop rock genre at its purest and finest.
It doesn’t look like Vena is too keen on the idea of taking up the Acceptance mantle for one more spin, but besides a couple EP’s, fans are at least left with one album that’s pitch-perfect for road trip sing-alongs.
Daytrader, by Adrienne Fisher
The major tell-all sign that Daytrader was on the rocks came in pretty surprising form, as halfway through a fall tour with The Jealous Sound, vocalist Tym announced that he was leaving the band due to personal and creative differences with the other members. An inevitable drop from the tour came next, followed by an official declaration of quits about a month afterwards. So why was it too soon? Bands and their members butt heads and break apart all the time, and Daytrader, while demonstrating some notoriety in the scene, weren’t necessarily pillars of support
The biggest disappointment in Daytrader’s breakup ultimately exists in the full-length record that was released only about six months before the end. Twelve Years, simply put, emphasized a big step in songwriting for the band, both in maturity and style. Pegged as somewhat of a pop-punk band in the early days with a demo 7” of basement punk songs, followed by the more refined Last Days of Rome EP that came out on Run For Cover, the band certainly demonstrated their capacity for writing a killer hook as well as songs with some serious melodic substance. Twelve Years, which was a Rise Records release, saw the band spinning all they had accomplished so far into a solidly cohesive full-length, executing flawlessly what I can only describe as the trademark forlorn Long Island/New York vibe (please reference the Brand New record of your liking). And it’s awesome.