Various - Emo Diaries 11: Taking Back What's Ours (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Emo Diaries 11: Taking Back What's Ours (2007)

Deep Elm

Much to the chagrin of, well, who knows, Deep Elm Records originally laid to rest their hailed Emo Diaries series with Chapter 10, The Hope I Hide Inside, released in March 2004. It gave way to another collection of vaguely classified bands, This Is Indie Rock, but now the label has quickly resuscitated the Diaries series with Chapter 11: Taking Back What's Ours. Admittedly, the last few volumes of the series were fairly weak, and Deep Elm's attempt at jolting it back into life finds a patient with quite the irregular heartbeat itself.

Many contributions here are merely decent or worse, failing to make a hardened impact on the listener (Above Them's "Change Your Views," Andy Tanner & His Grand Piano's "The Ghostman," I'm Fashion, You're Victim's "Until Vendetta's Achieved"). Besides that, this could easily have been filed as part of the This Is Indie Rock series and no one would have been the wiser. This is immediately evidenced in some of the comp's earliest tracks: This Drama's "Tiger Meets Lion" sounds like post-Interpol post-punk meets `90s indie rock; While You Were Gone resemble a more sugary Holy Roman Empire in "Hey Lola"; Knockout Kings' "Question Everything" is bland mall-emo -- and it drags on for just over four minutes.

The City Beautiful have one of the few promising songs here, presenting fine (only vague) memories of prog-era Sunny Day Real Estate with "The Dangerous Crowd."

It's unfortunate, but there's few and far between here on Chapter 11 worth investing the time in. Hopefully many of these bands simply put forth some of their throwaway unreleased material here and can make a better impact with their next high-profile expose, if they get another one.

Clips of every song on Taking Back What's Ours