The Emergency – How Can You Move? (CD)

Coming out with an indie-rock album is a hard thing to do nowadays. While most bands out there go for the emo-rock route, picking the dead flesh off the body of Fugazi-era emo, The Emergency choose another path, instead taking cues from The Cars and Weezer. Not really datable or immediately able to be put into a genre, The Emergency’s music is a smart collection of poppy, jangly guitars and Rush-like bass. The first two tracks, “Church of the Chix Denomination” and “All Over Town”, tend to go fairly quickly, but it is “Morning Announcements” where The Emergency really starts getting into the proverbial “groove”. Able to go and tread their own path musically, the truth of the matter is that there are few very songs that sail above the bottom line created by “How Can You Move?” Thus, there are a large number of tracks on the disc that are just passable, but very few that actually raise themselves into being “diamonds in the rough”. The tracks which are more ideologically and musically similar to a specific band, such as the Weezer outtake “Wedding March”, are even more often than not those tracks which are not remarkable in any way.

The dark horse of the CD would be “Matt Won’t Come Back”. Starting out with a fairly weak tremulous voice, the ethereal nature of the rest of the song really makes the track something more than its constituent parts. The Emergency tries to recreate the open-air sound of “Matt Won’t Come Back” in the follow up track, “Cracked Up”, but all the pieces are just not meshing as well as in the previous track. The track of the disc is not one that follows the Weezer/Cars formula, but rather the instrumentally tough track “Stop Sign”. Previously anemic drums take their position as the driving factor on the disc, creating fills and essentially stopping the song for a few seconds dead in its track.

The Emergency is a band that can create solid songs practically all of the time, but they still need to work a little harder in creating tracks that truly stand above what has already been put out in the field. Tracks like “Channel U” are where the band should go – continually changing up their sound, even in the space of a three + minute song, while still having a solid, fleshed-out drumbeat.

Top Tracks: Channel U, Matt Won’t Come Back

Rating 5.9/10

The Emergency – How Can You Move? / 14 Tracks / YGoal Records / / / Reviewed 17 April 2004

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