Olympia - Emergencies (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Emergencies (2007)

Hope Division / Equal Vision

Olympia contain members of Fairweather and Brand New Disaster, so it was common to think that the band would either lean in the direction of the ambitious qualities of the former's final full-length, Lusitania, or the standard, straightforward Triple Crown rock of the latter. Unfortunately, Emergencies falls into the latter camp, and while it's a little safe and boring, carrying with it an occasionally ill-sounding bar rock swagger, it does have pep and a little muscle despite Phil Williams' raspy, relatively weak delivery. But...it's also about 5-10 minutes too long.

Emergencies has hooks, but they don't necessarily dig as deep as they should, all the while producing a base blending hints of early Foo Fighters and, like Brand New Disaster, late-`90s-to-early-`00s Triple Crown emo rock. Tracks like "The Resurrectionist" sound like the band have something good going, but drop a chorus nothing more than middling. "Bastogne" is a little more gripping, at least, with a fluid pacing and some line declaring "this is the auto board," or something. However, the rest of the album just drags, rarely offering a moment enjoyable enough worth waiting for. Sometimes the band will flash moments strongly reminiscent of earlier Hot Rod Circuit (the aforementioned "The Resurrectionist," "Even Rome Had Sewers," "This Ship Ain't Gonna Sink Itself"), but more often than not they'll appear stumbling trying to find their own voice. "It's Okay to Eat the Dead (Times Are Tough)" even comes off vaguely like a Full Collapse B-side for the most part (seriously, listen to that sudden "We're drowning!" at the beginning).

"Who's Bad Party Time" is probably Emergencies best and/or most interesting track, sounding like Give Up the Ghost's "(It's Sometimes Like We Never Started)" (the intro track on We're Down 'Til We're Underground) with softly sung vocals over it.

The recording on Emergencies feels a little flat, too. Olympia would have benefited a ton from, well, something, but the more subtle nature of Emergencies just doesn't seem to suit them too well. I don't think Matthew Ellard had entirely much to work with, but this type of almost vaguely lo-fi sound worked much better with Bear vs. Shark's Terrorhawk.

All the credit in the world is due to Olympia for at least trying. There's a lot of variety on Emergencies, from slower songs to solid rock tracks and the sporadic appearance of an original-sounding riff. Ultimately however, Emergencies is hardly composed of crises worth one's attention.

Olympia Is a Motherfucker