- The lyrics are emotionally evocative.
- Patrick Miranda's ability to change his vocal style at the drop of a hat to convey the emotion.
- The album seems a great platform from which the band can build on.
- It sounds a little too familiar at times.
- The tail off in quality at the end of the album in comparison to the excellent first half.
It’s fair to say that the emo rock genre has been through a recession in popularity this decade. At it’s height during the mid-2000’s, bands such as My Chemical Romance, Fall Out Boy, The All-American Rejects, Panic! At The Disco, and Paramore were releasing what would become platinum certified records, and a whole fashion and subculture was formed around this movement which became popular with disenfranchised teens. However, when those mainstream bands eventually broke up or adapted their style to shake off the stigma attached with being associated with the emo scene, the movement collapsed.
In recent years however, emo has seen a small revival led by smaller underground bands such as Modern Baseball and Touché Amoré, and incorporating elements of hardcore punk in bands like Title Fight. It’s in to this context which Movements, a four-piece emo rock outfit from Southern California, find themselves in.
Signing to Fearless Records (At The Drive-In, Mayday Parade, Pierce The Veil) after just one local gig, Movements released their debut EP ‘Outgrown Things’ in March 2016. ‘Outgrown Things’ was released to widespread acclaim with songs such as ‘Nineteen’ and ‘Kept’ among tracks highlighting the reasons why Fearless Records were so keen to sign them; they’re evocative of the heady heights of the mid-2000’s emo movement with clever, intricate lyrics, but with the ability to incorporate elements of hardcore music when needed.
Fast forward a year to 2017, and after having toured extensively to get their name out there, Movements are now ready to release their debut album ‘Feel Something’. ‘Colorblind’, the first single from the album, sets their stall out early on with it’s deeply reflective lyrics concerning vocalist Patrick Miranda’s ability to maintain healthy relationships, and it’s hook heavy instrumentation.
Elsewhere on the record, the diary-like entries continue on songs such as ‘Daylily’, which was written in reference to Patrick’s girlfriend’s experience of therapy, and ‘Deadly Dull’ which is a very overt, heart breaking reflection on a man with Alzheimer’s. It is, in fact, the mature and heart felt lyricism, and the ability of Patrick Miranda to convey the emotion in his voice, that is the records greatest strength. The concept for the tracks highlighted is obviously based on personal experience, which means they have the biggest emotional impact because they can marry the instrumentation to the lyrical content. The chord progressions and the spacey guitar weave a rich tapestry of sound in conjunction with the bass and drum notes. You can feel the angst and pain that Patrick is going through on these tracks.
It is unfortunate then that the last third of the album features a few tracks which are less refined in concept or lack an obvious inspiration. As a result, they suffer a little from a similarly less refined sound. ‘Submerge’, for example, tries to shake up the instrumentation but suffers from a lack of interesting imagery for the music to fall back on.
Despite that late tail off in quality in relation to the excellent first half, ‘Feel Something’ is a solid album which incorporates the core elements of hardcore punk music and emo introspective lyricism. Movements could well be among the forefront of a potential future mainstream emo revival, and their debut album is a good vehicle from which they can build upon.