Emok is a band that is hard to understand, as their music is so diverse and free of genre labels that words do not come easy. Velvet Underground, MC5 and The Stooges all come out as integral forces in creating Emokâ€™s general sound, but a greater sense of instrumentation comes through at every section of â€œShove Your Head…â€. This instrumentation is most certainly a result of the more rich fabric of instrumentation espoused by the Middle East upbringing of the members (as they hail from Israel). However, even with these diverse influences, a track like â€œTurn Off The Lightsâ€ has a radio-friendly sound that rivals anything that the Deftones or Stabbing Westward could come up with at the apex of their popularity. The guitar work that is present on a track like â€œKasbaâ€ is reminiscent of Rage Against The Machine, a thread that finds itself throughout the disc, as present on â€œField of Thornsâ€ as it was on the previous. On â€œShove Your Headâ€, Emok is not complacent, with tracks like â€œBlissâ€ showing the technical virtuosity of Itai in eir reation of a very-Tool like bass line.
Another very present facet of Emokâ€™s music comes in the nineties-rock style of vocal/guitar interaction, which is immediately reminiscent of the harder-edge of Seattle grunge, like Tad and â€œLouder Than Loveâ€-era Soundgarden. However, in the space of a track Emok can simultaneously sound like At The Drive In and Serj from S.O.A.D., a testament to the impressive nature of the band. â€œShove Yoru Headâ€ is not necessary a heavy album, as most of the tracks on the disc would find an adeqwuate position on any Clearchannel rock station, but the album is very intense and sincere. This is not a band that gives a shit less whether you like their music, but rather rides out the creative orgasms found on each and every track on this disc.
Another impressive thing about this disc is that there is nothing in the way of weak tracks to curtail the enjoyment one will receive by putting this disc on. In fact, both the anti-penultimate and penultimate tracks are some of the best of the disc, with â€œRevivalâ€ using Metallica-esque guitars meshed with Layne Staley-like vocals. Emok should drop â€œkâ€ from their name and parade around as the savior of emo music, kicking the asses of all the mascared-panderers of rock and â€œmetalâ€ (look out, lead singer of Avenged Sevenfold!).
Top Tracks: Trust, Revival
Emok â€“ Shove Your Head into the Ground and Feed It to the Earth / 2004 Wrong Records / 12 Tracks / http://www.emok.net / http://www.wrongrecords.com / Reviewed 24 February 2005