The Promise Ring
Nothing Feels Good


3.5
great

Review

by Ben Jimenez USER (36 Reviews)
August 14th, 2007 | 59 replies


Release Date: 1997 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The Promise Ring's "Nothing Feels Good" is easy to swallow. It's a fine production focused on catchy beats and rhythms over unique musicianship.

Emo sucks! God, it’s been a while since I said that and meant it, but even then I didn’t know what it really meant. Hell, I don’t even have a firm grasp on what it means today, but I can tell you what I thought emo was during my period of musical immaturity. I thought Emo was the antithesis of Punk; it seemed like an attitude for the depressed, whiny, and spoiled suburbanites of the world driven by the crappy music they heard. I still don’t like Emo, but I respect the music that falls within its vague jurisdiction. It’s more than what I took it at face value, and I completely missed the point of the music. Now I’m at my discovery stage, one that I am meeting with strong resistance, but this time with an open mind.

My latest discovery occurred because I was led to The Promise Ring’s Nothing Feels Good, their third release on Jade Tree records dating back to 1997. The album is surprisingly easy to swallow as I expected a very monotonous effort thanks to my ingrained misconceptions. To be resentfully honest, Nothing Feels Good feels just fine. In fact, it’s more than fine; it’s a fun record that encourages a joyous setting, giving a pleasant atmosphere with only minor hints of anxiety. It focuses on receiving a positive emotional response from the listener by providing very elastic rhythms and vocal backgrounds. The vocals play off of one another on the opener “Is This Thing On?” and stay just short of annoying moans throughout the rest of the album, making them acceptable at least and enjoyable at best.

Other musical elements on the album are not necessarily mesmerizing, but they have a special allure for being catchy and simple. Whether it’s the light guitar work on “Make Me a Chevy” or the looping verse structure on the title track, there is beauty in the simplicity and the repetition. The album has a very balanced feel, with enough variety in the tracks to offset equilibrium but enough of a personality to maintain an image. The interlude on “How Nothing Feels” is the bridge between a light, smooth song and a dance number that swirls like a washing machine. Its simplistic approach is welcome because of its cheery sincerity.

I cannot say that I’ll be getting more albums that have stemmed from Nothing Feels Good, but I can say that the album revealed to me that Emo is something far from my misunderstanding. With every song, I felt more convinced that The Promise Ring had something going with their music. My pent-up childish emotions were torn from my mind and were replaced by the sound of a relaxed tone that expressed concern. It’s not so bad after all. Punk’s still better!



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user ratings (208)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
HotSalvation
August 14th 2007


258 Comments


that has to be the most emo name for a band and cd I've ever heard.

no thank you. go listen to some blues emo kids

The Door Mouse
August 14th 2007


2092 Comments


Pretty good review. I have a friend that is convinced that My Chemical Romance and Fall Out Boy are Emo. I just laugh it that quietly.This Message Edited On 08.14.07

cbmartinez
August 14th 2007


2525 Comments


I think it's a stretch to call these guys emo (IMO all that midwest emo stuff shoutln't be called emo), but good review nonetheless.

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
August 15th 2007


16089 Comments


Cap'n Jazz was an emo band but all of the Kinsella projects etc after that have really just been indie albums. This was a good album though.

204409
Emeritus
August 15th 2007


3996 Comments


[quote=cb]IMO all that midwest emo stuff shoutln't be called emo[/quote]

Couldn't agree with you more. The lineblurring caused by Cap'n Jazz and all of the imitators who lifted the catchiness and clean tone guitars and stuff from them but not the screaming or emotional playing style is what led to the current plural definition of the word emo. I think you can pinpoint when things changed at the midwest stuff. I'd say that most of the stuff we call "emo" stemmed from Moss Icon and Indian Summer combining with the Gravity scene to create a band like Saetia. I think bands like Braid, Mineral, JEW, Promise Ring, etc. are the ones that lifted the catchiness and poppiness from Cap'n Jazz and yielded the newer notion of emo. An interesting band to look at though is Grade, who were essentially the first popcore band as they combined the screaming and catchiness, without the typical midwest feeling in the tone and modal harmonies and stuff. That allowed bands like Thrice to exist.

descendents1
August 15th 2007


702 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5


Couldn't agree with you more. The lineblurring caused by Cap'n Jazz and all of the imitators who lifted the catchiness and clean tone guitars and stuff from them but not the screaming or emotional playing style is what led to the current plural definition of the word emo. I think you can pinpoint when things changed at the midwest stuff. I'd say that most of the stuff we call "emo" stemmed from Moss Icon and Indian Summer combining with the Gravity scene to create a band like Saetia. I think bands like Braid, Mineral, JEW, Promise Ring, etc. are the ones that lifted the catchiness and poppiness from Cap'n Jazz and yielded the newer notion of emo. An interesting band to look at though is Grade, who were essentially the first popcore band as they combined the screaming and catchiness, without the typical midwest feeling in the tone and modal harmonies and stuff. That allowed bands like Thrice to exist.

Thank God you exist Nick because I was so pissed off by trying to understand what Emo is and was and now it's clear. Thank you. Seriously, I was going to write a pissed off post saying "what the hell is this then?" but I thought the better of it. I'm going to stick to punk for the future.

204409
Emeritus
August 15th 2007


3996 Comments


Hey chris, what was that band you said Saetia ripped off?

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
August 15th 2007


16089 Comments


Anasarca. Remind me more of like Mohinder then Saetia though =/.This Message Edited On 08.14.07

204409
Emeritus
August 15th 2007


3996 Comments


That's what that band is word.

cbmartinez
August 15th 2007


2525 Comments


Yeah, Anasarca is good but Saetia did it better.

The Jungler
August 19th 2007


4827 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I like this album/band a lot. I might do one of their other albums.
Nice review, I don't know how I missed it.

t417ad
September 14th 2007


3 Comments


Yea this band is awesome

fakefrowns
September 1st 2008


2 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

great album, great band, i like it.

rasputin
December 9th 2008


14555 Comments


this is nice

Xplisit
October 10th 2010


1646 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this album is great.

not nearly enough discussion!

demigod!
May 17th 2011


45254 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this is pretty good yeah



Digging: Black Sabbath - Master of Reality

xfearbefore
July 14th 2011


1246 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

So this is kind of amazing.

Digging: The Smoking Popes - Get Fired

ITsHxCTOASTER
March 5th 2012


2494 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

So glad I downloaded this because I liked the album art. This is so good

MalleusMaleficarum
March 5th 2012


14393 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

great album but theres a nostalgia factor that comes along with it for me, brings me to bad places myan

fulgrim
April 3rd 2012


1542 Comments


good album.



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