Emery soared into the world of screamo/pop-punk hybrids in 2004 with the fantastic debut The Weak's End
. Their mixture of melodic riffs combined with memorable lyrics sung and screamed simulatiniously made them a hit in the scene, even though their album maybe wasn't as popular as it could have been. Now, it's 2005 and buzz was being circulated about their sophomore effort. Will The Question
match up to their previous record?
We begin the album with the upbeat "So Cold I Can See My Breath", quickly changing tempos throughout the song. It works well, and that few seconds of energy busrting into a cleaner, much more melodic verse really pulls you in. After 3 and a half minutes of energetic bursts of distortion and criss-crossing vicious screams with harmonic singing, the record pushes into a sort of Killers sounding track. Wavey synth melodies lead you into the song with the full band and the occasional electronica backing music. It works well, and continues the bands high energy yet the heaviness comes down and the screams disappear.
The record follows this "fast and heavy/slower and more singing" path throughout the new few songs, although each have their own variations which give the listener that feel of no repetitiveness. We then rush through 2 more mixtures of the 2 styles Emery are reknown for from their debut, and honestly, it starts to get old fast. "Miss Behavin'", although beginning so solidly, tends to get boring and the dual screaming/singing pattern really adds nothing to the overdone melodic riffs.
"In Between 4th And 2nd Street" is uncessassry. I'm not a fan of interludes anyway, and the fact that this is so horrible, combining acoustic and piano melodies which are taken straight from a downtown play just add to it's corniness.
The album does end on a good note, just like it started, however. "In A Lose, Lose Situation" begins almost perfectly, very secluded and harmonic. It then drags you into the same old Emery song, but that introduction, that beautiful lead-in just makes you love the song. And "In A Win, Win Situation" adds to this 2-part special. Piano, drums and amazing vocals again serve as a fantastic introduction. A big change in sound to the previous song, and they fit so well together and end the album with a smile on my face.
Emery have always been written off as another Thursday clone. They have the same styles I guess, and Emery's singer definately tries to sound like Geoff. That being said, Emery will never be as good, and this album proves it. What starts out as a fresh and bold step into a musical scene where watered down bands replace the original sounds, Emery quickly slip under it's spell. The good note about this is that it ends a lot better than it plays in the middle.
If you're wondering what this album sounds like, go put The Weak's End
back on and enjoy their debut. Then pick this up and compare them both, and see for yourself.