Emanuel’s latest effort takes the same path a lot of bands seem to be treading—mixing up emo with tight pop rock arrangements despite the still whine-tinged vocals. This is the case with “Phobos”, which works on some levels but fails in many others. The Louisville-based band picks up the pace with “Cottonmouth”, a track which tends to put the band in its best light, especially with the tight rhythm section not just bringing up the rear but propelling the ditty along effortlessly. At times, though, Emanuel is just a bit too slick a la Jimmy Eat World such as during “Anathamatics”. Not to say it’s a bad song, but it just seems a bit glossy for their sound. Perhaps the highlight of the lot is the vast, expansive “My Antapex” which would have plenty of emo kids holding a bic light over their heads. It’s an album and a band that seem ripe for the second stage at Warped Tour.
// Notes from the Road
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