Issue Sixteen -  ...and Staring at Her Hands Ophélia Said... (Cover Artwork)

Issue Sixteen

...and Staring at Her Hands Ophélia Said... (2006)

New Romance for Kids

While it may be difficult to recall, there was a time when the musical genre known as emo was more than a punchline involving angular haircuts and boys in girl pants. Issue Sixteen recall this time, and with ...and Staring at Her Hands Ophélia Said..., deliver a striking reminder to anyone else who may have forgotten.

Playing an explosive mixture of mid-`90s emo progenies like caP'n Jazz and epic instrumentalists like Explosions in the Sky, the band deliver what amounts to epic emo, infused with powerfully skilled musicianship and vocals that sound scared and honest, untouched by any Pro Tools software that might destroy their minor imperfections. Filled with true punk aggression on tracks like "Like a Magician, Edward Did So Many Tricks," the band offer up enough "holy shit!" moments to fill many more records than this. Said track's closing is a powerful combination of dueling vocals and a blast of group vocals that soar over minimal instrumentation, creating an unbelievably beautiful musical moment.

Not confined by the epic nature of much of their work, the band still offer a few selections that clock in around four minutes, though their most powerful work comes in the form of their six-minute-plus opuses.

Either way, Issue Sixteen delivers quite the full-length effort with ...and Staring at Her Hands Ophélia Said..., chock full of those astounding moments and plenty of well-rounded songs that form around them.