Emok – Shove Your Head into the Ground and Feed It to the Earth (CD)

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 Emok’s general sound, but a greater sense of instrumentation comes through at every section of “Shove Your Head…”. 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 “Turn Off The Lights” 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 “Kasba” is reminiscent of Rage Against The Machine, a thread that finds itself throughout the disc, as present on “Field of Thorns” as it was on the previous. On “Shove Your Head”, Emok is not complacent, with tracks like “Bliss” showing the technical virtuosity of Itai in eir reation of a very-Tool like bass line.

Another very present facet of Emok’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 “Louder Than Love”-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. “Shove Yoru Head” 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 “Revival” using Metallica-esque guitars meshed with Layne Staley-like vocals. Emok should drop “k” from their name and parade around as the savior of emo music, kicking the asses of all the mascared-panderers of rock and “metal” (look out, lead singer of Avenged Sevenfold!).

Top Tracks: Trust, Revival

Rating: 7.5/10

Emok – 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

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