Yellowcard, a band that has dropped members like flies over the years, released the newest album, Lift A Sail, on October 7, 2014. It’s the band’s ninth studio album and first without one their founding members, drummer LP (Longineu Parsons). Lift A Sail also marks the band’s stint on a new label, Razor & Tie.
This album has a much heavier sound and deeper lyrics than any of Yellowcard’s previous efforts, which is a good and bad thing. It shows the band progressing and maturing a bit, but in my mind the closer they stay to the sound heard on Ocean Avenue and releases prior to that the better. With the amount of member changes it’s also difficult to tell if that impacts the band’s sound, or led to members wanting to leave the band. I also get the impression Yellowcard is simply keeping up with the times and trying to play whatever is the flavor of the month in terms of pop punk; you can definitely see their sound shift over the years to imitate whatever is popular at the time. Overall Lift A Sail is a very forgettable album that has yet to grow on me.
Lift A Sail has a ton of variants, with more regional exclusive than any release I’ve ever seen. First off there are 6,000 total copies of this record pressed, spread across six different variants. First there is a U.S. exclusive, which the label lists as a retail exclusive, meaning not available online (aside from record store websites). The U.S. exclusive is pressed on white vinyl limited to 2,000 copies. It’s the least limited variant. There is a Merchnow (through Yellowcard’s store) exclusive pressed on purple with multi color swirl vinyl limited to 1,000 copies. This variant could be bought by anyone worldwide. Next is a tour/Merchnow exclusive pressed on blue with multi color swirl vinyl limited to 1,000 copies. This started out as a tour exclusive, but once the tour was over the remaining copies were put up or sale online through Yellowcard’s Merchnow store and quickly sold out. Europe hs their own exclusive color which is clear limited to 1,000 copies. One thing of note about the Euro and U.S. exclusive variants are that the sticker on the cover of it lists the color as clear and white respectively with multi color swirl. When the label released the pressing info for Lift A Sail they simply listed it as clear and white respectively.
Hot Topic, which seems to get exclusive variants on almost everything these days, has an exclusive color of Lift A Sail, which is yellow supposedly limited to 750 copies. There may some issues with the legitimacy of the pressing info for the Hot Topic exclusive however, as there is also an Australian exclusive variant that is pressed on yellow vinyl, which is supposedly limited to 250 copies. I have seen pictures of both the Hot Topic yellow and Australian yellow, and they appear identical. What I’m guessing happened is that the label pressed 1,000 copies of yellow and gave Hot Topic 750 copies while giving Australia 250 copies. No confirmation on that from the label though, and if that is the truth behind the yellow variant I doubt the label will ever own up to it seeing as it’s pretty shady on their part. It’s great for Aussies as they don’t have to pay a ton for shipping, but it’s blatant false advertising in the U.S. The sticker on the cover also lists yellow with multi color swirl when the label simply listed the color as yellow.
All copies of the record come with a sticker on the cover noting what color the record is. Each variant has their own color coordinated sticker. Purple has a purple/pinkish sticker, blue has a blue sticker, clear has a grey sticker, white has a white sticker and yellow has a yellow sticker. Instead of an insert a full color printed dust sleeve is inside the single pocket jacket. A download card is included, but it only yields low quality 192kbps MP3’s. Prices on this are on the high side, $18 before shipping is the lowest you can buy this for online, which is the price of the Purple variant. Hot Topic, being their typical screw the consumer selves, is charging the most; $20.50 for their variant. You can’t count Merchnow/Razor & Tie selling the Euro variant in the U.S. for $25 because it’s an import, and if you were you buy it directly from overseas you would wind up paying more than that for it.