Review Summary: Are You Listening?Are you listening?
Just three, simple words. It’s such a simple statement. It doesn’t provoke deep intellectual thought, nor does it have any deep underlying meaning. What you see is what you get. But yet, it’s a bold question. It’s more of a statement than a question really. Are you listening?
And in this way, Emery introduced themselves to the world of post-hardcore music. By wailing away with those three words, Emery caught the attention of any one who would listen. With heartfelt lyrics, emotional screams, and beautiful clean vocals it wasn’t to long until Emery began turning heads. The Weaks End
is the first real release by Emery, even though they did self-release an EP in 2002. With all of the aforementioned attributes it only took a year or so until Tooth and Nail records picked them up and signed Emery to a 3 album record deal.
Devin Shelton- Vocals/Guitar
Matt Carter- Guitar
Joel Green- Bass
Seth Studley- Drums
As previously mentioned, The Weaks End
starts off with by far one of Emery’s biggest hits Walls
. As far as openers go for albums, Walls is in a league of its own. It has it all, the raw energy, the loud/soft dynamics and the often used duel vocals of Toby Morrell and Devin Shelton. I know I have mentioned this before in my other Emery reviews, but I feel as though I can’t say it enough. These guys can flat out sing. There are vocal harmonies during just about every single line. On songs where Toby is the “lead” singer Devin complements him so tastefully and discreetly (and vise-versa) that it may take a few listens to actually hear it, but trust me, it is there. Walls continues using simplistic, intertwining guitars, and is all brought together with one of the best endings that Emery has written. With the last breakdown Emery throws in so much emotion and even some creativity using the duel screamer approach. (I’ll have more on that aspect of the music later.) The end product is a song that will stick with you for a long time after you listen to it.
Just about everything on this release is a positive thing. The guitar work from Shelton and Carter, while simple, add an unique dynamic throughout the entire listen and you, as the listener, are never bored. With Disguising Mistakes With Goodbyes
both are impressive creating that creative contrast between guitar parts, and they are rarely playing the same thing. Disguising Mistakes With Goodbye is another one of those great songs that, honestly, are found time and time again throughout the album. Bass wise, Joel Green does a very good job with the bass parts that, surprisingly, you can hear during just about every song. For instance in the song Bloodless
throughout the entire intro and first verse Joel is on top of his game and lends another great factor to an already great song.
Josh Head, as stated before, is the keyboardist/”screamer”. But if you have ever seen Emery live you might think that he is a hype man. He runs all over the place, jumping off of anything that he can get on top of and dancing to any song that doesn’t involve him playing an instrument. But I’m not saying that keys aren’t used adequately on this recording. Quite to the contrary, Emery’s keys are a great aspect in most of their songs. Fractions
starts off with synths and soft singing of Toby. Yes, the lyrics are rather cheesy, but it just happens to work. Clocking in at over 5 minutes Fractions is one of the longer songs, taking the listener all over the spectrum of Emery songs. Fractions ends with a looping synth beat after the only screamed lyrics in the entire song end.
But the best song on the entire cd is As Your Voice Fades
, the second to last track. The song is about someone close to the band dying. It’s just dripping with emotion and when you listen you can feel their pain. The 2 screamers work well here, alternating words and telling a story. But the best part has got to be when the singing and screaming are going at the same time, but with different words, each relating a different message that eventually connects.
While Words (your life) evade me (but a moment) I’ll wait to (I’ll cling to) remember (forever) and what you had (your words) meant to me (on my blood) could never be forgotten
With The Weaks End
you get 9 great songs and 1 good song( Under Serious Attack
), so it’s rather hard to pick out certain songs to talk about but I fell as though the best songs have been mentioned and talked about. With their first release, Emery cemented themselves at the top of post-hardcore/emo music. And for being a first release it is rather amazing how mature Emery sounds, even if the production isn’t as good as some as their later albums. So the question really is Are You Listening