Yellowcard One for the Kids

Not since FM's Nash the Slash donned bandages has the electric violin been used so effectively in rock music as it is on the sophomore effort from Florida's Yellowcard. The odd thing about Yellowcard is they are not a prog-rock band; they are an emo-pop punk band. Imagine Jimmy Eat World or Saves the Day jamming with UK's Eddie Jobson and you'll know what I mean. Then again, we are talking about a band that came together when a bunch of art school geeks started jamming sometime in the late '90s. The bulk of the 11 tracks on this record are above average, melodic punk, fusing energy and enthusiasm with creative chord progressions, classically-inspired riffs and harmonies aplenty. But the quintet also isn't afraid to slow things right down for the surprisingly tender acoustic ballads "Something of Value" and "Cigarette." It's amazing what a subtle difference the addition of the violin makes, and it's not all wimpy! (Lobster)