A third album from jonnycraig4L in 12 months? Surely our ears have never been so blessed. Let’s take a look at the second full-length from the man’s resident band, Emarosa.
The first few seconds of Emarosa openers tend to leak the tendencies of the forthcoming album better than any review could. With Relativity, Jonny ripped right into listeners with his now famous screamed line of “tailored sheets,” foreshadowing a heavy melodic post-hardcore record where the vocalist spent most of his time at the top of his range. Contrasting the first record, self-titled opens with a soft and smooth line over an ambient noise, leading into the catchy “A Toast To The Future Kids!” This time around, Emarosa has focused on a softer sound that focuses on more structured tracks that lean more alternative than hardcore.
One thing’s for sure: this ain’t Relativity. Aside from the laser-like guitar tone and the personnel, this might as well be a different band. Musically the tracks take a far different shape than their predecessor, dialing things back with more confined riffs and numerous breaks, handing the spotlight to Jonny more than anything he’s ever participated in. Strict intro-verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge-chorus structures are followed for the first time in Emarosa’s short history, and with some success. “Pretend.Relive.Regret” begins with the catchiest melody Jonny’s arranged, in the vein of his Isles & Glaciers work. If any Emarosa song were ever pushed to radio, “IStillFeelHer Pt. 4” certainly would contend for spins with an upbeat style and vocal stylings reminiscent of their vocalist’s solo work.
Jonny’s usual role as the Michael Jordan is fulfilled as always, though a tad differently than his previous efforts. Rather than relying on the immense strength and power of his high-notes to draw listeners in, the singer has finally improved on his use of melody as a means. “A Toast To The Future Kids!” and “The Game Played Right” employ the new approach well, showing a growth in Craig’s craft. This new style seems to balance the line between Relativity and his solo-release. Shockingly, Jonny Craig has evolved, something that I never expected of the foul-mouthed Twitter connoisseur. Bringing everything to fruition though is a new star: Lukas Koszewski. His runaway drumming is just as important to Emarosa as Craig’s soulfulness. Many of the tracks would lack any interesting instrumentation had Koszewski not seriously stepped his game up.
The best offering from the disc comes from the fourth track, “Truth Hurts While Lying On Your Back.” Drawing influence from both Relativity and their long-forgotten This Is Your Way Out EP, the song successfully combines the band’s harder early roots with the stress and tenacity of their last record, all with a more carefully-crafted melody to set the package off. Again, In the past there has been a lack of cohesiveness between Craig and his musicians, resulting in an Emarosa featuring Jonny Craig style of music. Here the singer uses the music provided and works within its confines rather than soloing his way through. The result is one of the best songs in the group’s short catalog.
For a second time, Emarosa has twisted and tweaked their sound to quality results. Catch the band at Warped Tour and pick up your copy of Emarosa at your nearest merch tent for the latest and greatest from one of the best upcoming acts.