The Weak's End
Emery defines an extreme separation between their screaming and singing sides on Weak's End, their debut for Tooth & Nail. Opener "Walls," and the similarly-arranged "Ponytail Parades" do occasionally burst forth with hardcore-inspired screeching. But the louder, crazier moments are tightly regimented from the tracks' normal baroque and dreamy flow. The definition seems like a conscious effort to make a strong statement while still making accessible, emo-inflected music. Emery doesn't really make clear what that statement is; they prefer to suggest that it's there before drifting into opaque lyricisms that mull over personal pain and a general world-weariness. "By All Accounts [Today Was a Disaster]," "Fractions," and "Note From Which a Chord Is Built" form an ambitious midsection for the record — they're impeccably-paced mini epics, even if they don't amount to much in the end. Best might be "Under Serious Attack," which blends rousing post-hardcore emotion with weird jazzy interludes and a veritable treasure chest of reverb vocals. Those who think of Thursday or Spirit That Guides Us as wavering too much toward sonic experimentation — at the expense of songs — might like Emery's more subtle approach.