Just admit it, kids, emo is the new hair metal.
Finally, a band that is unafraid to admit that the current post-hardcore trend is more indebted to Journey than to At the Drive-In. While the huge majority of young Warped Tour acts simper away with their melodramatic claptrap, Takota turn up the bombast in a big way, and it pays off in spades on their surprisingly pleasant gem of a debut album. Sure, there are the usual trappings that hook the kiddies in, like the sporadic, rote emo riff and '80s post-punk basslines, but the way this Anaheim band combines the spaciousness of Thrice and Dredg with huge, grandiose choruses is the real revelation, as "The Ivory Tower", "Satellite", and "Carpark Conversation" soar along in an crowd-pleasing way that many other young emo bands are completely incapable of. It's all in the delivery of vocalist Grant Arnow, who sounds more Steve Perry than Geoff Rickly, displaying a tenor voice made for arenas, making you wonder if this band is going to break into a rendition of "Open Arms" before the album is over. Having just signed to Island records, this is one band to watch in 2007.