Review Summary: Emanuel return with a record full uninspired, angst filled rock.
In this business it seems that bands make two kinds of records. Ones that touch your personally while the band displays their feelings, with taste, and makes the music that keeps you interested. Sending you through emotions and leaving long lasting impressions. The other bands seem to waste an oppurtunity to only vent. They keep on making the same old, watered down music that doesn't interest anyone, and continue to whine of how women do them wrong. Emanuel completely follows in the footsteps of the latter bands, and just does an even worse job. Black Earth Tiger
(yes that is the name) goes very quickly without leaving many traces of anything memorable. How they get away with this is impressive even if unfortunate.
Sticking to what you know never seemed more wrong with this record. Every song seems to beg for the verses to hold you off until the choruses come in, which aren't even worth the wait in the first place. While some songs do get it right the majority fail to do anything significant and are easily forgettable. "Cottonmouth" has the typical palm muted intro with the chorus lines slurred over top of it. The verse is pretty bland and contains some of the worst lyrics to reach paper. "She's so hopeless like an animal with all of it's legs broke"
. When it the time comes for the bridge..well let's say it is best left forgotten with the vocalist's horrible attempt at a falsetto. Despite it being unoriginal and it's weak bridge, it's probably one of the best off of this record.
It's sad to say that it never really picks up from here. The next three songs feel as if they run together and use the same recycled riffs and song structure. "Scenotaph" comes in with a build up from the drums that eventually leads to a switching of screaming to singing, that seems to be a poor rendition of Daryl Palumbo. It's chorus contains some more lyrics that you'd like to forget, such as "Spread your legs and *** the world. This is war, yeah"
. "Phobos" is the best track on the record, hands down. It's main riff is an unimpressive yet effective lead, and the chorus is the catchiest as it comes. Like the first few tracks, the rest of the album continues to blend together. The record does end on a slightly good note. "Whiteflag Reprise" has a decent second half. The whiny voice that seems to reign throughout the whole record in a bad fashion does itself some justice in the end. The bridge is quiet and depressing with a solemn, cracking voice singing it's little heart out. If it wasn't for the the first half dragging this song down, this would be the best of them all. Sadly it doesn't impress as a whole as much as "Phobos" or "Cottonmouth" in the least.
The end result is another record that falls short of emotion, and feels as if any effort was absent. While some songs prove to have potential in areas, it's already too late. Emanuel haven't really set themselves up for failure quiet yet. Though some songs reek of the same riffs that have been used countless times and sketchy vocals, they could drop the cliched angst driven alternative rock and improve in time for their next record.