Nearly twenty years in and Seattle’s Emery are still releasing records at a high standard, as shown in their latest collection, ‘Eve’. The record is dense in melody and economically structured, with a detailed eye cast over the nuances that hide in every corner.
Lead single ‘Is This The Real Life?’ kicks into gear with urgency as frontman Toby Morrell sings “I stay in my dreams, but I don’t know what that means” before the group launch into a barrage of melody and chattering drums. Soon enough, vocal interplay between Morrell and bassist Devin Shelton ensues, with Shelton taking a more prominent role throughout the record.
As the track progresses, the tension builds with falsetto vocals cutting through the wall of sound before crashing straight into ‘Fear Yourself’. The opening two tracks of the album are a strong indication of the release, with the tracks starting straight away, filled with countermelodies and dynamic shifts hidden in plain sight.
We’re then segued straight into ‘Jesus Wept’, based on the same motif; the track is given a new life with blistering drum patterns and Josh Head‘s seething screams. Whilst there’s a notable lack of heavier influences on this record compared to the band’s past releases, when they appear they pack a punch.
Mid way through the record, the group embraces a slower pace, favouring surf rock inspired leads on ‘Flesh’, and acoustic musings as found in both ‘Bones’ and ‘Streets Of Gold’. The latter builds slowly, shifting from sparse arrangements towards overlapping melodies.
The seed for ‘Everything She Offered Me’ is planted earlier in the album via the lyrics to ‘Safe’. It encompasses the group perfectly, swinging between all three vocalists whilst jagged guitars run amok. The track plays with dynamics and rhythm, ensuring that tension is held throughout.
Lyrically, ‘Eve’ is a dense record, raising numerous questions about human nature. The weighty concepts that it carries are held at bay with the compositional structure being so strong.
As the final overlapping vocals and sneaking guitar leads fade out on ‘Sins Of Every Father’, the record leaves you satisfied yet eager to uncover what had been missed the first time around.
Whilst Emery has slightly deviated from their usual route, ‘Eve’ places itself as a worthy addition to the group’s catalogue, hiding enough layers to keep existing fans entertained.