Emery is a Christian progressive post-hardcore band from Seattle, Washington named after a first grader that the lead singer met in college. They were formed early on in South Carolina but moved to the West Coast in search of a better musical environment.
Over the last 4 years they've gathered a large indie/emo fan base that consists of many 14-19 year olds with glasses and tight jeans that fail at moshing.
I'm just going to be reviewing the bonus tracks and the dvd in this review.
1. Playing With Fire (Acoustic) - This song has no acoustic guitar in it, It's all piano driven. Also some light violin played in the background. I never did get into this song much, I always found it boring and slow. As do I again with the acoustic version
2. The Pony Tail Parade (Acoustic) - Starts out with more piano, This song starts off a bit faster and up-beat. The piano melody reminds me a bit of Boston by Augustina. This is one of my favorite emery songs and I love it even more in acoustic form, The piano goes much better with this song than it did with Playing With Fire. The two vocalists in this song make it so much more emotional and sincere.
3. Walls (Acoustic) - This is my favorite emery song of all time and It is just as good in acoustic form as rock. This acoustic song actually acoustic lead. It starts off with a background scream of "Are you listening?". Half of the first verse is a clean and screamed vocals mixed with acoustic guitar being strummed, First time i've heard screaming in an acoustic remix. The chorus in this song is still extremly catchy as it was before. This song is very up-beat for Emery. There was originally a breakdown at the last minute of the song where the keyboardist screams in the background while the lead singer screams lyrics. The background scream is replaced with a choir like chant while the lead singer peacfully sings the lyrics, I was a bit dissapointed by this but its still pretty anyway.
4. Fractions (Acoustic) - One of the more cliche songs Emery has written. But still emotional and sincere anyway. The Acoustic riff is suprisingly techy and pretty instead of chords just being strummed. This is probubly one of the better acoustic re-recordings I've ever heard, I would give it a 5/5 but there is this part in the song where the lead singer says "I wanted to mean everything to you, but this isn't right." and it just makes me cringe. Otherwise this song is absolute perfection. The last 24 seconds an acoustic guitar riff comes in with many slides and ALMOST solo-sounding. It pretty much tops off a near-perfect acoustic remake
5. Studying Politics (Acoustic) - The band's lead single and one of their anthems. This is probubly one of the more cleverly written songs by them, lyrically. This song does have drums in the background which really dissapointed me. Im not a fan of drums being used in acoustic songs. The chorus goes "This is the way it goes, with you a part of it, Nervously saying words that all so tightly fit, It's in the way you sell every word and phrase and leaving me to know how much the meaning weighs." Somehow they make that completly roll of the tongue. This is the most up-beat and fast paced acoustic song they did, Overall I didn't like it as much as the other ones
6. Death To Inconnveniounce (Demo) - The riff in this song really bothers me, It's high pitched and doesn't go with the song at all. I really do love the lyrics in it though, they all rhyme with a catchy sound. It's a really slow paced song. at the last 40 seconds both singers start screaming "Your driving! So take the wheel!" Which is probubly the highlight of the song
7. Thoughtlife (Demo) - The song starts off with the lead singer saying "My heart, left my chest" in a cliche-like way with chords being strummed in the background. I am quite glad this a demo and wasn't put on the first release of the cd, The song is one big cliche. As big of a emery fan I am I strongly dislike this song and am reminded of Hawthorne Heights from it.
Okay, now on to the dvd. I usually buy the dvds that tooth and nail/Solid State comes out with. Such as Demon Hunter with the re-release of The Triptych, Underoath with the re-release of They're Only Chasing Safety, And The Chariot's dvd on their Unsung EP (Which is very impressive by the way). I was expecting much more because Solid state/tooth and nail dvds are usually well...Very entertaining. Well the only songs they had on the live concert were "Returning The Smile You Had From The Start, So Cold I could See My Breath, Pony Tail Parade, Studying Politics, Walls, And a video of them playing walls when they were first starting off as a band.
I will start off by saying that the lead screamer/Keyboardist's scream has gone to crap. Instead of it being high pitched it dropped down to a whimpy yell. Like he has a sore throat or somthing, But the lead singer's voice sounds pretty close to the cd and is pretty talented, He kinda sounds british.
Another thing I didn't like much with the live performance was they don't have much stage presence except when the screamer/keyboardist takes over. I mean they usually just stand there playing their instruments nodding a bit. every once in a while they'll headbang for 2 seconds or so. The only song where the band was REALLY into it was Walls. the last performance of the concert, I was a bit impressed with that song until the guitarist hit a few wrong notes and a wrong chord or two. Okay now, This song is very easy to play and takes about 20 minutes to learn perfectly and play cleanly. I started laughing when I saw that, then at the 10 second intterlude in the song theres a part where the keyboard plays a melody and the guitar usually goes along with the keyboard, Well instead the guitar player decides to throw in some blues licks which completly ruins the mood of the song. And further more the blues licks were not even in the key of the song which made me laugh. Then they have the end breakdown which...kinda sucks live. Then the band just leaves as the crowd chants "One more song!". the band doesn't play one more song and the concert just ends which makes me laugh harder
Overall I am a very big Emery fan but was extremly dissapointed with the dvd. The acoustic tracks were good but you can listen to just about all of them on their acoustic myspace page. So overall I am regretting spending my money on this cd. So unless you are a DIE DIE DIE hard fan of Emery I wouldn't bother with this.