Welcome back, Taken. We’ve missed you.
2017 celebrated the 20th year of the highly influential melodic hardcore Orange County band, Taken. They’re a key band for the genre, who along with other older groups like American Nightmare, helped shape the bands that came after them, like Modern Life Is War, Ceremony, Defeater, Verse, Have Heart, Ruiner, Touche Amore, and countless more.
2018 has already seen the return of American Nightmare, but with some pretty mixed results that could never hold a candle to ‘Background Music’. Which makes such moments a very exciting but also very nervous time for loving, nostalgic fans who still romanticize the early works of such groups. Something that’s also true of Taken, who have, for our money, just dropped one of their best songs yet – ‘Regret’.
This is the band’s first new music in 14 years since 2004’s ‘Between Two Unseens‘ and what a fucking comeback it is! With plenty of melodic guitars, super-charged vocals, explosive instrumentals, sonic weight, and intensive emotional depth, this is the Taken you remember, just better. ‘Regret’ is the kind of high-calibre song you’d want any of your favourite band to return with after many years away to make a real impact.
As someone who’s listened to much of frontman Ray Harkins insightful podcast over the years – 100 Words Or Less – I honestly believed that that’s all I’d ever see from the Taken vocalist; doing these great, in-depth conversations with other bands and never seeing him front his own band again, let alone with new music. Yet here we all are and I am so glad that I was wrong.
Speaking of the painfully personal meaning behind this new track as well as that of their upcoming new five-track EP, ‘With Regard To’, the always-forthcoming Harkins stated that:
“I can’t believe we are here with the release of new Taken music with the help of Other People Records. This song and entire EP are about my mental journey with my wife’s diagnosis of cancer. This song in particular is about that moment when I picked myself up off the ground to be a better version of myself for my wife and family. I could have let this news bury me and my wife, but after soul searching nights I gave that thought process up and moved forward. This is a universal truth that we all must face; when life hands you a situation you can’t fathom, what will you do?”
‘With Regard To’ will drop on April 27th through Other People Records, who also did the hardcore world a real solid and released a re-mastered anthology of the band’s discography back in 2014, titled ‘Carry Us Until There Is Nothing Left’. And if ‘Regret’ is a shining example of what’s in-store for us, then the rest of this EP could really be something to remember.
Catch up with all things Taken with this recent interview from the folks over at Decibel Magazine.
Fingers crossed that an Australian Taken tour hits us this year or in 2019!