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by: Andi Leigh
131, Emarosa’s ‘rebirth,’ is a complete 360 from past albums. It is their first album since departure of former frontman Jonny Craig, and first album with new label, Hopeless Records.
Change is inevitable in every aspect of life, and definitely something this band is privy to. After parting ways with Craig, the band was subject to criticism and a broken fanbase. Bradley Walden, the new vocalist, brought about a new sound; a sound that hardly identifies with the old. Previous albums such as Versus and Relativity are without a doubt post-hardcore, but 131 has a softer presence. Bluesy-pop and gospel influences run rampant throughout the melodies.
Listening to 131 is like listening to a completely different band. The lyrics are personal and rooted and perfectly matched with the instrumentals. Each song is different, giving the album a well-rounded sense of variety. It journeys through every emotion; anthems of triumph, anger, love, sadness, and soul-searching. 131 flows in a way most albums do not. Listening to this album is like living alongside Walden through significant times in his life. Each song feels like an extension of the last. It’s ambience and rhythm is reminiscent of Hands Like Houses ‘Unimagine’ and Issues’ self-titled.
‘One Car Garage’ sticks out a bit from other tracks with the ever-changing rhythms and pummeling drums and morose lyrics. The punchy tempo is contradictory to the words: ‘I dissipate and I’m late, I’ve got people on the other side of holy gates. I know I hate myself and probably everybody else, but I’ve got some reasons why I feel like I’m alone in a solo show. I’m a broken home and I want my body gone but I don’t want to hurt no one.’
In conclusion, Emarosa is at home in this album. The style fits the group perfectly. There is strength in all aspects, lyrically and instrumentally. It’s artistic and somber and vulnerable but inviting to the fans. Shedding their post-hardcore image and completely embracing a softer, alternative sound has been an interesting, but welcome change. PopD gives this album 4 out of 5 stars.
Songs to listen to: Porcelain, One Car Garage, and Hurt
POP DEFLATORS RECOMMENDS: “Porcelain”