Review Summary: Emery’s first chance to showcase themselves
I don’t know about you but when I find a band that I enjoy listening to, or bands that have had some success, I like to go back and find out what their “roots” really are. I recently decided to find just that out for the band Emery. When I was looking for their earliest work I stumbled upon their independent EP “The Columbus EEP Thee” which they independently released in 2000 before their singing to Tooth and Nail records in 2003. There are many things that I do enjoy about this band in general that were their since the beginning but other then the duel singing and a little bit of guitar work not much of this EEP will really be enjoyable to the people who fell in love with The Weaks End.
Just for curiosity’s sake here are the band members back then.
Toby Morrell: Vocals
Devin Shelton: Vocals, Guitar
Joel “Chopper” Green: Bass
Matt Carter: Guitar, Vocals
Seth Studley: Drums
Josh Head: Keys
Even for an independent release this EP has terrible production. It was probably recorded in one of the band member’s basement or something. The bass is very dominating throughout especially in the song To Whom It May Concern. They re-recorded this song and it’s available on their Purevolume but this version is probably one of the highlights of the album. The song uses the dissonant chords that emery is known for. Along with the sub-par production Emery’s vocals are not what they usually are. There are many mistakes throughout (most notably the end of It Always Depends) and it’s as though they could only record the whole vocal track at one time and since they messed up at the end they didn’t want to redo the whole thing so they stuck with it. When you compare the vocals on this EP even to the live vocals of emery it is way worse. They dip in and out of notes in the most awkward way. In the chorus of Shift Toby sort of yells/sings and it comes off as forced and not all that good.
But Shift is one of only two songs were Emery screams. It’s a very bad quality for screaming and I’m surprised at how much they improved in that area on The Weaks End. The whole screaming thing really just doesn’t come into play in The Columbus EEP Thee as well as it shouldn’t. It’s not that great and it would probably ruin most of their songs. Emery did rerecord every song on this album except for 2 and those two song titles are now the titles of EP’s or LP’s. So they really pulled from this EP which is not really a bad thing. And of course they have a song titled The Walls which is the original of what is believed to be one of the bands greatest songs. And in this version it’s not that good. They don’t scream in the intro and Toby’s voice sort of sounds like the lead singer of Chiodos for a little bit. The guitar doesn’t have that solo that is in Walls. The main backbone of the song is the synth or keys. The keys in this album are pretty much the backbone of this EP unlike every other Emery CD where they are pretty much an afterthought. It does get a little annoying like the main hook of It Always Depends. It sounds cool if it was just a little fill but pretty much the whole song is based around that one riff.
The thing that really bothers me about his EP is that it really doesn’t show off the talents that Emery shows only two years later with only the addition of one member. Within the first 30 seconds of this you can really tell what you are getting into, an under produced sub-par EP. If you want to hear the best song on the EP, find the song Shift. The song isn’t amazing but it’s not terrible and probably the best song on the EP.