Review Summary: Everything is dipped in shades of blue and in shades of green
I want to move to Philly. Honestly, though: the city is basically the capital of modern “emo” music at this point, and the percentage of these bands that are actually good is pretty astounding. Due to the number of bands in the scene from this city, Philly faces the issue of becoming oversaturated with too many sound-alike bands, mostly because of how derivative the genre is to begin with. It’s a fine line between sounding genuine and sounding unoriginal these days with emo revival music.
who loves you
sounds fucking genuine. Sure, they aren’t the most original sounding band in the world as most of their music sounds like a cross between the punchiness of Joyce Manor and the melodic hooks of Modern Baseball, but the emotion is very much present. Adam DaSilva bitterly sings about his depression, his lack of empathy for others, and how he tries to drown these feelings away with alcohol. “hey, there’s no darkness inside me so stay away
” he yells in the opening song almost as if he’s scared of the listener getting too close for comfort. The lyrics aren’t the only elements that add to this sense of claustrophobia, as the rest of the band rushes through quiet intros almost as if they are irrelevant. This Philly three-piece likes to get straight to the point, and often that point is loud, cymbal-crashing chaos supplemented by catchy, yelled hooks and destructive guitar riffs.
Despite all of this, Adam’s lyrics surprisingly contain some value thematically. When I say thematically, I don’t mean reoccurring songs about general sadness and breakups as that wouldn’t be very noteworthy for this type of music. Although those baseline themes are present, DaSilva uniquely takes it a step further by utilizing the strategy of describing his feelings with colors, an unusual idea but one that works to the album’s advantage. “Shades” are the name of the game for Adam, and it’s quite fascinating how often he talks about seeing things in these “shades” of green, gray, and blue. Throughout the album, he hints at what these colors mean to him, but it isn’t until the aptly titled second to last track, ‘Green Over Blue (Dog Daze)’ where their true meanings are revealed. “everything's fine and gray/the dullest greens/and the hopeless blues
” he mutters over a math rock inspired riff contrasted with a deep, brooding bassline that swarms the song with utter darkness and despair. For Adam, he’s accepted his life of dullness (grays) and because of his depressive mindset, colors that are supposed to be bright and beautiful to others (greens and blues) are merely “dull” and “hopeless” to him.
Although the lyrics are an obvious highlight, it’s the music itself that really adds to the attractiveness of this band. These guys aren’t afraid to play into the clichés of the genre, as seen in the shout-alongy “BA BA BA BA BADADUH
” in album highlight ‘Primer’ and the feedback-ridden buildup at the end of ‘Nosebleed’. Luckily, most of these songs are under 3 minutes long as the band members themselves realize in a way that if they were any longer the potency of these emo tropes would be diminished. These songs jam hard, and their ability to create swift climaxes within a matter of seconds deceives the listener into thinking these songs are longer than they actually are. Yet, before you know it, the album blows by you in a color-fueled haze of greens and blues that, altogether, mixes into grays. As dull as the final product may appear, knowing the colorful elements that constructed it makes it feel a lot less lackluster and inherently more appealing. So embrace the color gray, it just may surprise you.