Emery "I'm Only A Man" Review

Originally in The Oklahoma Daily on October 2nd, 2007.

The first things to notice about Seattle band Emery’s new album, “I’m Only A Man,” are the ridiculous song titles. “Rock-N-Rule,” “The Party Song” and “Don’t Bore Us, Get To Chorus,” can all be found on the track listing. And the bad song titles aren’t necessarily a bad thing. They aren’t really indicative of the quality of the songs, but they are entertaining, memorable and fun to laugh at.

The band hit the scene in 2004 with “The Weak’s End.” The band’s three different vocalists helped it stand out in the screamo crowd. On 2005’s “The Question,” the band took a decidedly rock approach, and reserved the screaming for a few select moments.

With its new album, the band has made an almost straight-up rock record. Screaming vocals are almost non-existent, though the band’s vocal duels still play a large part in its music, and are really the highlight of the album.

The album begins with “Rock-N-Rule.” The song opens with a funky guitar riff and screamed/sung vocals that definitely seem influenced by scenesters Snapcase, but those soon give way to the melodic vocals fans of the band are used to.

Next comes “The Party Song.” This song features the first traditional scream of the record, and it just doesn’t feel right.

Emery’s lyrics have never been particularly good, but they haven’t been noticeably bad either, until now. “The Party Song” is but one example of this. “Don’t Bore Us, Get to The Chorus” is probably the worst offender. The song’s “I just want to be with you tonight/We’re here by candlelight,” chorus just seems ridiculously trite and cliché. And the strange choir and Panic! At The Disco-like electronic undertones don’t help.

Complaints aside, the album is decent enough. It’s catchy and has a distinctive sound, but as time passes it will most likely prove to be forgettable.