Review Summary: A great take on emo done well.
The emo scene has had quite the revival in recent years which has received a warm welcome from fans of the 90's and early 2000's scene. Courtesy Drop are looking to continue this new wave of bands with their lengthy second LP "Songs to Drive To; Cry, and Make Love To". Their approach to the genre clearly takes influences from post rock and alt rock at times, but at its heart remains an emo affair.
Melody and depressing lyrics are abundant throughout the album and are conveyed through a mixture of deliveries. The predominant delivery found here is a style similar to Knapsack or Mineral, "Appleseeds from Ash Night" is a prime example of this done well. Opening with simple guitar accompanying the vocalist easing the listener into the song before picking up the energy. The song transitions smoothly throughout each section into the instrumental outro where it slowly fades out. The songs that follow this fashion on the album are the most uplifting parts despite featuring lyrics that are rarely in a positive manner. Although the lyrics are mediocre and nothing special, the vocal delivery makes it above average and fits the music well.
Songs such as "Superbook", "Science is a Liar Sometimes" and "Mineral Extracts" demonstrate how well the band work together to create music that has lasting value. Delicate vocal sections accompanying drums that drive the music forward. These sections of melodic guitar riffs are met with equally aggressive sections. It is these parts where the vocalist takes charge with a harsh singing style that the vocalists pulls off with convincing shouts. The build ups during the latter portions of a handful of songs are much quicker and filled with a more post rock style riffs as well as the standard chord progressions.
With the album clocking in at 51:14 and 18 tracks long, the album does not feel disjointed and is in a good order to keep the listener interested. Despite this the album does overstay its welcome on a few tracks. Songs such as the acoustic "Truck Jamz, vol 1" and the ambient "Not All Those Who Feel Pain Are Hurt" attempt to break up the first 13 tracks with some success. However these songs are too few in number in comparison and stand out as a result. The album closes with 5 short post rock tracks that flow exceptionally well and lift the listener up after hearing the depressive content of the lyricist on the previous 13 tracks.
Courtesy Drop have created a superb album that may drag on for some listeners. For those who are fans of emo will certainly find much to enjoy here. It is unclear how the band may progress from this album, but if the quality is as good as this, then the band will certainly be in for a bright future.