Review Summary: Love betrayed- as many times as there is breakdowns.I
f you’ve been gifted
to the seductive sounds of Emmure then you’ve generated an opinion already. Okay, just kidding about the whole gift and seductive sounds that was only to draw some blood in an already adamant field.
The band that has given us entirely too many breakdowns, an amazement when we hear that there is an actual bass player in the band, and the sometimes laugh out loud worthy lyrics is quite a renowned hit on sputnik- and when I say hit I mean scrapping the bottom of the barrel in the lowest realms possible. If you don’t know who Emmure and somehow was suggested to listen to them you’re going to have to pick your poison carefully. This band has made a lot of enemies through professional acts and fans but even in 2006 it seems like they were pretty torn on not making many friends. Lyrics from Frankie Palmeri’s have always seemed personal (in some sense), aggressive, and hateful. If you’ve listened to any Emmure album and sought through the lyrical tornado you will know that some females have really done this guy in. The music dynamics of this band are frowned upon in an age where breakdowns have actually replaced song structures- with MORE breakdowns. You can either call it punishing or extremely repetitive (maybe both?) but either way Emmure packs a punch when it comes to low drop tuned open chords. So how did a band that became an open joke to the genre ever get this far to be signed on a major label and still have a significant number of fans (not residing on Sputnik)?
2006’s first EP by this band brought together some true genuineness and effort that the band lost all surely after. If you wanted to hear Emmure with fewer breakdowns, a more sincere experimental output, and fewer gangster felt brotherhood lyrics- then “The Complete Guide to Needlework” should be given a shot. If not- no one will fault you to take shelter stage left.
The Complete Guide to Needlework
Like future releases by Emmure the opening track of the album has to be abstract, not subtle, and ready to break face. The opening sounds of this EP sound like kids playing in a school yard and turns dark with a signature sounding breakdown by the band. The first thing fans who’ve heard the future releases before this first EP will notice is the significant downgrade in production and quality. The sounds of this whole album sound like they were recorded all in the same room with one take. At points it works to a degree with the whole rawness of the sound but at other times it just sounds like a mess. Johnny Carson Didn’t Have to Die
is the first actual song off of this EP and it introduces itself with frantic guitar chords and a rolling of the drums. You’ll notice how much darker this album sounds to what almost seems like nu-metal like tones of “Felony”. The vocals aren’t nearly as fully developed as future releases but also incorporated is talking- yes talking. For me I love this dynamic where it sounds like catch lines and the one liners that hook are talked in what seems like a desperate, sincere, fashion. Looking a Gift Horse In The Mouth
starts off with a pop-punk like rhythm that would seem more at home with the bands I used to admire in High School. The song actually starts off with structure building around with whirling octave chords and actually features a bass lead riff. Once again shocking, as all of this has no hinting of any future release by this band. The lyrics in this song actually are some of the best in the Frankie Palmeri’s playbook. I quite enjoy the transition between aggressive screams and talked out sequences.
Overall gist comes with quite a bit of emotional impact. The outro of this song hints future riffing for the album “Goodbye to Gallows” with its frenzied lead riff that sounds refreshing through the barrage of breakdowns.
I Should Have Called Ms. Cleo
is a song that I wish they brought back on a future release. It’s a mess in this form but shows a lot of potential. It’s faster than the usual Emmure grade and has more of a metal core feeling to it. It’s all over the place with instruments coming from all different directions and yes, that counts actual bass lead riffing with slides and veering away from following the path of the guitars. During past the 1:14 mark you can actually hear some interesting guitar squeals behind the wall of open dropped chords. Already if you know what this band is capable of you know this is the most performance for the buck you’ve heard in one of their songs. A lot of the lead riffs actually sound like they are borrowed or very similar to the ones in Norma Jean’s first release “Bless The Martyr” and for me this is a good thing. In the end of this song you’ll begin to hear the signature way the vocalist uses an eerie echo effect in his talking part like he’s haunting the people and the listener through the lyrics. For me this works and I have no idea why they actually dropped these parts in future releases because they added another dynamic that wasn’t consistent with what would be more mainstream… some singing? 22 Exits Away
and Fist Fight With Dick Tracy
are the last two songs on the EP and the two songs that I feel got this band a shot with major labels. Both songs are quite varied and issue all of the important dynamics of being listener friendly and still is consistent with all the traits the scene kids love. You can almost taste some metal-core influenced riffs in “22 Exits” and are intrigued that the band was capable of putting together song constructions that didn’t consist of so many breakdowns. Lyrically again, you feel sense of personal assault by Frankie Palmeri with one liners and catches that aren’t garbage but genuine. With “A Fist Fight With Dick Tracy” you are barraged with lead riffs over open chords and the vocal range is displayed highly between high shrieks and low growls. Even at the end of the song displays group chants and one of the more memorable lines: “And when I show up at your wedding. I’ll bring flowers and a shotgun”. Not so poetic but packs a punch in the way he screams it.
Perhaps it could’ve been predicted what Emmure would become but I don’t find it strikingly apparent with “The Complete Guide to Needlework”. The production is just as raw as any bands first EP or demo and the band actually displays a strange yet generic way of putting together songs. This says a lot since they’ve basically disappeared from progressing through this and abandoned it totally. I wouldn’t call Emmure my favorite band by any means but I do own all releases no matter how terrible they’ve become (Felony). They are best suited when fitting a mood or when you forgot what a breakdown sounded like (probably never). Nonetheless I still find “The Complete Guide to Needlework” an interesting release from a rather uninspired and uninteresting band. After all you had to think how major labels could ever give a band such a shot and usually first releases display the most sincere qualities of a band no matter which direction they turn to fall or rise in.
She called me captain. I dragged her into the deepest seas
What am I supposed to do now with these pictures and these memories
Now that I’ve thrown you away
This is the last song I wrote for you
Where is my closure?
Original Release Date: December 20th 2006
Label: This City Is Burning
Frankie Palmeri – vocals
Jesse Ketive – guitar
Mike Mulholland – guitar
Mark Davis – bass guitar
Mike Kaabe – drums