Review Summary: Emery climb to the summit of music itself
“Change we can believe in”. Barack Obama.
Some people would have you believe that post-hardcore is a dying genre, that the glory days are long gone, never to return. In the same way that Justin Bieber’s My World 2.0
obliterated pop music and laid waste to the legacy of the Beatles, they say that post-hardcore’s recent influx of mediocre bands has done serious damage to this indefinable, entirely subjective genre. Emery’s recent masterwork …In Shallow Seas We Sail
throws down the gauntlet to their uninspired contemporaries by blending monotonous, screamed vocals with moments of overproduced adult contemporary smoothness that appear to have been cut and pasted from a Michael Bublé or Sting album. The result proves the doubters wrong and may well be post-hardcore’s defining statement.
“I was lucky not to have caught any sexual diseases, even though I worked without condoms for two years”. Jenna Jameson.
…In Shallow Seas
second song, “Curbside Goodbye”, is a fine example of Emery’s unique style of music. Having begun with some jarring shrieks and harsh guitars to indicate displeasure at life’s disappointments, the song abruptly shifts into a softer, more melodic segment with pained, emotional young man vocals. The band then switches to a soaring, “uplifting” melody with the two singers exchanging angst filled call and response vocals, before once again reverting to the “aggression” of the opening. This template is used again and again on …In Shallow Seas We Sail
and while some may argue that these elements mix like oil and water in Emery’s holy hands, they would be missing the point. The attempts at diversity on this album are absolutely fantastic. These songs have pop elements and heaviness, sometimes in the same track. The best part is that the band's emotions are always clearly signposted for the listener. Similar to the way the laughter track on an episode of Friends
prompts you to chuckle at David Schwimmer’s facial expressions, …In Shallow Seas
melodramatic, clichéd moments clearly remind us when it is time to feel sad, angry, or uplifted. I for one appreciate this lack of subtlety, as I have a very busy schedule and do not have time to sit and carefully listen to a record to pick out all its nuances. The end result is that whenever I am feeling tense or upset in a stressful environment, I can pop in my trusty iPod earbuds, fast-forward to 0:30 of “Inside Our Skin” and experience deep emotional catharsis.
“He is a liar. I just don’t know what the lie is yet”. Horatio Caine.
Listening to ...In Shallow Seas We Sail
in its entirety was one of the most mentally draining experiences I’ve had in quite some time. As an aficionado of many weird, noisy underground post-hardcore bands that ordinary people haven’t even heard of, I was not expecting a so-called “accessible” album like this to be such a grueling listen. Clearly, I was mistaken. The constant transitions from one-note screams to sugary pop choruses and back again are enough to test the endurance of even the most experienced music listener. Indeed, the sheer power of this record is simply astounding. It all reminds me of the opening scene from the movie Terminator 2
, when a robot foot crushes a human skull. Just imagine that the robot’s foot is Emery and the skull is a guy listening to Emery. That’s how good this album is.
“I am the terror that flaps in the night”. Darkwing Duck.
If this album proves anything, it’s that post-hardcore’s future is in capable hands. While Emery does not yet have a huge fanbase, I feel that it’s only a matter of time before they become a highly influential outfit. Where post-hardcore once toiled in obtuse song structures and grating dissonance, Emery’s more melodic approach is the future and is sure to be studied in years to come by scholars of the genre. …In Shallow Seas We Sail
is an album that sees Emery climb to the summit of music itself, and the scary part is that the best may be yet to come. 2/5
“It looks like you’re writing a letter” Paperclip Guy.