A lot has been made of the London based emo resurrectors in itoldyouiwouldeatyou ahead of the release of their debut record, ‘Oh Dearism’, having steadily built themselves up to an admirably high status in the UK underground DIY scene.
Thankfully, with so much build-up, their first effort offers up an adventurous, expansive dive into experimental emo that’s simply bursting at the seams with creativity and relentless imagination. With seven members, a lot of voices have their input into moulding the shape of ‘Oh Dearism’, and the amount of aspects and tones that are channelled across the album’s entirety deserves a lot of credit.
Tracks like ‘Greek Fire’, ‘Get Terrified’, and ‘Almost Zero’ are bristling with twists and turns; vocals unwrap themselves steadily in a concentrated build-ups alongside instrumentation that’s quite frankly here, there, and everywhere. Yet, arguably one issue with this is that the record as a whole perhaps has little too much is going on, and that the application of so many ideas is a tad convoluted and over-crowded.
On the vocal department, at times, frontman Joey Ashworth‘s shouty outbursts can feel a little too raw and perhaps underproduced, like on opener ‘Earl, King, Whatever’ and singles ‘Gold Rush’ and ‘Young American’ becoming slightly jarring to the ear. Yet, where Ashworth does shine is the lyrical department, serving as the voice of the millennial generation, and covering a broad, brave range of topics from tackling issues of gender and mental health, voicing brutally honest thoughts and concerns that add a real level of emotional depth to the overall feel of the record.
As the album closes, we see the band – and most notably Ashworth – at their most inventive on ‘Goodbye To All That’, reciting a spoken-word, poetic story across thunderous noises. It’s a song that both epitomises the great and not-so-great of the record, as while the idea is clever, the poetry is a bit lost under the bustling nature of the instrumentation beneath – but its still both refreshing and praise-worthy.
Unfortunately, while it’s brimming with imagination and creative ideas, the shame is that the execution is perhaps just a step or two behind. A lot of praise should be given to itoldyouiwouldeatyou for their endeavours on ‘Oh Dearism’. To even attempt the amount of inventiveness is a sheer triumph on its own.