Most of our favorite bands experience major shifts in their sound at one point or another in their careers. Many albums that end up being our favorites in a band’s discography can first be greatly disliked due to that change of sound (see: In Reverie, Coming Home, etc), but our opinions often change.
For a new PropertyOfZack Discussion, we thought it would be fun for team members to take a look at some of the most notable shifts in sound and stylistic reinventions in our scene. Read up below and reblog to let us know some of your favorite changes in sound!
Brand New from Your Favorite Weapon to Deja Entendu
Analyzing the shift between Brand New on Your Favorite Weapon and Deja Entendu, for me, is like telling your son that while playing Magic the Gathering online is pretty cool (Note: I am not being sarcastic in the least), you’re really happy that he decided to grow up and start socializing outside of the cyber world.
Your Favorite Weapon is a phenomenal pop-punk album and many of its tracks are still fan favorites (think “Mixtape,” “Seventy Times Seven,” etc.), but its adherence to traditional pop-punk mannerisms holds it back. The album still employs Jesse Lacey’s superb songwriting and biting lyricism, without the complete genre transcendence present in Deja Entendu. On Deja, every song is a story that not only tugs on heartstrings, but resolves into bliss that all music fans can appreciate.
The maturation and experimentation between the two albums is the perfect example of Brand New’s never-ending transformation towards pure sonic originality, as well as one of the pivotal moments of the band’s now thirteen-year career. - Donald Wagenblast
The Maine from Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop to Black & White
The Maine burst onto the scene in 2008 as one of a cluster of bands — We The Kings, Every Avenue, Mayday Parade — breaking the pop-punk mold by excising the punk entirely in favor of hypermelodic power-pop, and while they might not have been the first to enroll, they quickly moved to the head of the class. Their debut full length, Can’t Stop Won’t Stop, was stacked from top to bottom with perfectly-constructed pop nuggets, from the surging bounce of “Girls Do What They Want” to the shimmering sway of wounded ballad “Into Your Arms.”
With the band jumping to major label Warner Bros. for their second full-length, the obvious move would have been to double down on the boyish looks and sugary hooks, but The Maine had other ideas entirely. The peals of crackling electric guitar that introduce “Don’t Stop Now,” the lead track of the Howard Benson-produced Black & White, served notice from the get-go that the new album was a more rocking affair; punchy guitar-forward tracks like the shimmying “Right Girl” and lead single “Inside Of You” bore that out. WB may have considered the album a commercial disappointment, but Black & White remains the band’s best-charting album to date, and in retrospect stands as a clear signpost, pointing the band in the direction they’ve pursued ever since. - Jesse Richman
blink-182 from Take Off Your Pants And Jacket to Untitled
Before 2003, the quintessential pop-punk trio (the one with the album name that referenced masturbation, not the one that wrote a song about it — I’m looking at “Longview,” Green Day) peppered their albums with flashes of maturity and watered those down with long bursts of juvenile humor. Yeah, “Happy Holidays, You Bastard” and “Dysentery Gary” are fun (if you’re 15), but for me, the hallmarks from their respective albums are “Stay Together For the Kids” and “Adam’s Song” — two songs that dropped the silly shtick and swung for more emotional responses.
Ten years ago, Mark, Tom, and Travis finally got serious, releasing their landmark untitled record. No longer just awash with power chords and jokey lyrics, Untitled was (and still is!) gutsy and mature. I mean, earlier incarnations of blink would’ve sounded laughable with a Robert Smith appearance or the ethereal “The Fallen Interlude.” Neighborhoods admirably tried to carry the torch from Untitled, but its moodier moments — “Fighting the Gravity” is the worst offender — felt more forced and less restrained than its predecessor. - Erik van Rheenen
Panic! At The Disco from AFYCSO to Pretty Odd
"A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out" was every teenager’s not-so-guilty pleasure. It had more wit, a better kiss, a hotter touch…and it had angst. So when "Pretty Odd" came out with a Beatlemania vibe to it, most people thought the shift in sound was indeed pretty odd.
On top of that, P!ATD ditched the exclamation point. What caused this sudden change of heart? Where did the edge go? It took me a few listens to accept the change, but “Northern Downpour” and “When The Day Met The Night” won me over in the end with acoustic chords and clever, tongue-twisting lyrics.
While Panic! never needed to change its sound, it was nice to get a different taste of what they had to offer. Behind all the sarcasm, there’s a soft side to P!ATD, and that side has a heart of gold. - Sydney Gore
The Get Up Kids from Something To Write Home About to On A Wire
In hindsight, the style shift between The Get Up Kids’ classically favored Something to Write Home About and its wizened, tender sibling, On a Wire, is the most natural progression in the world. Their early beginnings of raw nerve emo in Four Minute Mile was expounded upon with bigger hooks and playful synthesizers on Something to Write Home About, and while STWHA is an absolute classic and often lumped into categories with the emo giants of the 90s, On a Wire doesn’t collect its due credit for being the more mature and sonically diverse release.