Emery - The Weak's End (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


The Weak's End (2004)

Tooth & Nail

Let's hope the title is right.

Emery craft reserved, emotional melodies with wailing guitars, layered harmonies, and a rising vocal line, with good shifts in tempo. Occasionally used, Emery will also bear exasperating screams with underlying, minute traces of abrupt riffing. Sound familiar? Probably, but it's not what you're thinking of. The band executes both styles well, there's no denying that; but often, they'll contrast entirely too much to work as a completed whole. The harder parts only carry a semblance of relevance, in that you may want to scream along with them, but right after, you're sort of deserted on a remote island. It's a literal juxtaposition that isn't so much saying "we have wild mood swings, so you better watch out after we miss our next medication dosage" as it is "we're not really sure what style we are, so we just did both." The pop parts aren't aggressive enough and the aggressive parts are too random.

Live, it must be a crowded stage. Emery boats a triple-guitar attack, but it's about as threatening as a Chihuahua injected with morphine. The effect is used more for environmental scene-setting than intricate, varied shredding. There is also a keyboardist, but it's rarely heard. Though its purpose is for a layer of depth rather than geek rock indulgence, it should've been not only used more but turned up in the mix too.

Although the disc is arguably consistent, there aren't any tracks that really stand out, or even significant moments for that matter...MAYBE the breakdown of "The Secret," if only because the vocalist (who thankfully avoids being nasally or whiny at all times) pulls off repeating "I still love you, I swear" without sounding too bitchy.

The band has definite talent, but are stuck in a middle ground. They need to decide whether they want to increase the tempo consistently and compose more intense (without being artificial or pretentious) orchestrations [Thursday], or piece together more intricate, harmonious, laid-back pop [Hey Mercedes]. The ability is there - if they use what they have and concentrate on one area more, they can create not only the bold anthem they're looking for, but a full-length album that doesn't keep wandering off into different directions. Emery may very well be at their weak's end already.

Listen to tracks 1 through 5 on this e-card.