Toby Morrell - vocals
Matt Carter - guitars
Josh Head - keyboards
Chopper - bass
Dave Powell - drums
Devin Shelton - guitar, vocals
Original Release Date: January 27, 2004
Label as produced: Tooth & Nail Records
Produced by Ed Rose
Mixed by JR Mcneely
Before reading this Review...
I have to be honest about why I'm reviewing this album that's almost 3 years old now. I got Emery's newest album "The Question", weeks after it was released and loved it. This album has been recommended to me by friends before I even heard of the band but I always pushed it to the side for whatever reason and never got to buying it. I had a lot of pocket change roaming around, and tower records is going out of business so I headed on down with the motive to finally getting this. Let me just tell you that there is alot of reason that I'm writing this review to make it known, and persuasive for people not to make the same mistake, passing this band/album up.
Emery is a band that really took me blind sidedly. Before ever hearing of this band I took a risk buying there album and was really astonished by it. This band just seems to sernade the listener with great vocals and melodies. Let me just say that Dave Shelton and Toby Morell just know how to bounce off of each other and really just give each other a shoulder to lean on while singing. The band can also assault you with it's beserk screams offered by the keyboardist, Josh Head. It's definite in my opinion that this band just does alot of things right. When you have a lead vocalist whos definitely arguably the best in this genre, a back up vocalist who sounds more than capable for leading vocals if he was in a different band, and a keyboardist who dances and screams... well you're starting off on the right foot.
With the good vocalists, a good band must accompany this. I adore the creativity of this band and how they let all of there influences mold a sound. I hold the bias that I feel the band was much more concrete and mature in "The Question", but "The Weak's End" definitely shows alot of beginning roots and progress. The guitars will whirl around the speakers showing off flashy lead licks and constructive chord progressions. The bassist is more known in some songs than others which seems like nothing out of the norm these days (unfortunate). I enjoyed the drummer alot throughout this album as it just seems like he created a presence for himself. The band does alot of things musically right, if you can allow to explain by what "right" means. It feels like alot of bands try and force their sound these days to something that they desire but here with Emery it just sounds all natural. There isn't the overuse of keyboard/synth parts that IMO plagues so many bands. All of the keyboard and synth parts just feel like a nice touch and appropiate for the pace of the song. The screams also aren't overdone but used in what feels like if I was writing this song I'd add screams over singing here. To be blunt Emery just does things that make them not seem like the dime a dozen cliche.
The Weak's End (song layout)
1) Walls (3:23) - This song introduces the album with a fuzzy swelling on the keyboard and is immeditately followed by the keyboardist screaming right in your face. My opinion differs from ddnyy11188 about the keyboardist's scream but I can definitely see how people wouldn't like it. I feel that as long as he doesn't sound like he's about to do vocals for Agoraphobic Nosebleed and that he sounds atleast 50% human while screaming it can do the songs some good. The keyboard has a great position in this song during the pre chorus and interlude. The build up to the chorus is beautiful and my favorite hearing the guitar cabinents barrel right through the walls
. "Sometimes it gets so hard to breathe. Your eyes can see right through me."
An apparent vocal bounce off is apparent in the 2nd verse with Toby and Dave which I thought fit perfectly. The outro is just as harsh (if not harsher) around the edges as the intro of this song with what even feels to be a breakdown. This is a single off of "The Weak's End" and one of my favorite songs. Extremely catchy lyrics and just an all around good song. *9/10*
2)The Ponytail Parades (4:05) - The back up vocals and lead vocals really take this song away. The lyrics are made out of pure emotion.
I will wait for you forever,
if you would just ask me.
I thought that I could change you
but you changed me.
The way the all of the parts of this song was sung was done in such an emotional manner without being too whiney. I loved the piano throughout the song and the swelling feedback from guitars that guided the vocalists voices in there beautiful harmonies and melodies. The screaming and guitar riff really built up this song winding down to the end and left me with a good taste in my mouth. *9/10*
3) Disguising Mistakes with Goodbyes (3:20) - The drums start off pounding intevening with the guitarists lead part that is repeated throughout. The keyboardist holds screams in the background as the lead vocals sing life into the song. I found the chorus with the guitar harmonics a really cool hook. The screaming comes back in full force through the interlude and really sets up a beautiful outro of singing. I believe that ddnyy said it best with, "Whether you like this style of music or not, you must appreciate Toby's vocals".
This outro definitely exhibits this. This is my favorite song off the album. *10/10*
4) By All Accounts (Today Was A Disaster) (4:06) - This song really changes the pace in the album I believe. The first three songs were pretty fast and concrete and this song really starts off at a sluggish pace. I think that the sluggish pace really hurts my opinion on this song because it really reminds me of Hopesfall newer stuff but after hearing the first 3 songs I'm kind of turned off by something by it. The vocals all seem to be there as usual if not a step behind as the other songs but the structure of the song just seems alittle lost. It just follows a tough act after the first 3 songs... *6/10*
5) Fractions (5:14) - The piano intro on this song with the soft vocals really start up beautifully. It's ironic because "By All Accounts" feel like it's lethargic after the first 3 songs on this album but it really helps getting this song on it's feet. I recommend this song to people who doesn't really care for the screaming in bands like this (the screaming part lasts for like 5 seconds in the outro). I loved the build up and the vocals seemed to hold strong throughout the whole song. Being that this song is one of the longer ones on the album it'll take some time to truly appreciate it but this song has some great elements mixed in it. I don't know but Emery has a real knack for if a song is dying midway to really have a great pick up at the end of the song. *8/10*
6) The Note from which a Chord is built (2:28) - This song feels significantly shorter than the rest of the album. It's not a bad thing that it's short but it feels like a venture into a pop-punky sound. In a way if you want to call it cliche until the half way point, you can. When the piano kicks in at a force at the mid way point though, forget about your usual pop-punk band not because the piano sounds off greatly but the vocals in this part feel really epic in a way. Let me tell you that this guy can really punch and hold out notes in such a beautiful voice that really makes me jealous. He'd probably make most people jealous though atleast =D. *8/10*
7) Bloodless (4:22) - Another unique way to present vocals with having two great vocalists introduces this song. The band keeps up a adequate pace through the song and the bass seems to stand up through the verses which is nice. The song pushes the page on harder ends but always finds itself back to softer melodies... up until another a great outro when screams are held behind the back of the lead vocals singing. Yeah, they know how to end on good notes as I've repeated so many times. *8/10*
8) Under Serious Attack (3:47) - Wow a moving bass line in the intro with soft guitars leading into the bass. This song really finds itself putting the listener through a wide array of sounds. When this is the case, and especially here... I feel like the build ups are much more fierce going softer to a faster pace. I love the "under water" guitar effect build up at about the 2 minute mark. I felt like song took a lot of twists and turns but it was ultimately a different song from the rest of the album, and an enjoyable one at that. *9/10*
9) As Your Voice Fades (4:02) -
Somebody please tell me
What am I suppose to do?
You've died and I'm here
Thinking that I hear your voice
But it's somebody else
It's always somebody else
The soft vocals in the beginning of this song introduces a really personal song. The screaming really fills in after the soft and delicate feeling intro.
The brightness left your eyes
As I held your face
Don't tell me it's the right time
And your last words will sustain me
Until my end
Until I see you again
I'm taking the time to issue out the lyrics because this song really twisted my heart around while listening to it. I felt the emotion and pain throughout the song which the singing/screaming + band = does perfectly. The last 30 seconds with the screaming and singing was done in a great manner. *9/10*
10) The Secret (5:56) - Through the first minute of this song I felt like I wanted to fall asleep. It's very soft and the vocals are done in almost a "dreary" manner. As soon as you hear that keyboardist's yelp it's almost like the whole band wakes up. I did enjoy the guitar solo and thought it blended well in with the keyboard following behind its tracks. There feels like an overly long build up in this song that will turn alot of listeners off. It closes off the album in a way that I'm sure alot of people will like but I just felt it had no climax what so ever. *6/10*
This album holds true to what everyone has been telling me about this album. Alot of people hold this album higher than I do, which is fine by me because everyone likes different things. The one thing that you have to love about this album is the vocals. If you can appreciate a good singer well here he is. I feel like I undergrade the vocals by even saying good because they are spot on. People who may be turned off by this album will most likely either not be able to appreciate it because of the screaming parts, or vice versa wanted more of an upbeat screaming band. These of course are just assumptions but I really believe that this band has all it needs and really doesn't need to change there sound much. The screaming is downtuned in "The Question" so if you want a piece of the cake without the whipped cream (screaming) on it go for that.
I'm going to save it for my last paragraph to "ruin" a review because some pissed off kid is not going to agree with me. I really kept quiet about this bands genre specification and I can't really put my finger on it either. For one thing though, this band is not screamo and I don't know why people keep saying they are. To be honest the singing to screaming ratio on this album is probably a firm 3 to 1. I know they have Christian influences but then again Underoath has Christian influences also... They definitely have some pop-punky bits in it too but overall they are a real mixed bag of goodies (I'd say baddies if they sucked) that excell in what they do.
+ Vocals... and more vocals.
+ Most Lyrics
+ Album artwork (I'm pretty much think the fish bowl head is great)
- Some songs will drag it's feet
- Some Lyrics feel corny
Why I didn't rate this a 5 or higher than I did?
: In a matter of opinion I know some kids live by this album and would rate it higher. It's labelled as an album you gotta own by some kids who listen to this music and really it should be. I have the bias that "The Question" is a 4.5 in my mind being one of the best albums I ever bought without hearing a song/clip before hand. I love what this band does, and hope that a band that I start becomes much like them. I can listen throughout this album but some songs really stand out and 1-2 songs drag it's feet. Overall it's a great album by a great band and I don't feel like rating this a 4 underestimates a great band but instead just shows there roots of excellence.