Various - Emo Diaries 4 - An Ocean of Doubt (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Emo Diaries 4 - An Ocean of Doubt (1999)

Deep Elm

I'll start by saying this. I have every Emo Diaries album, and they've all been worth it. This new record is no exception. Let me segueway briefly to a short description of Emo for all you SoCal skatepunks out there. It's somewhat related to Dag Nasty, hardcore, and sad people. I guess the 'emo' comes from emotional. Duh.

Seriously though, Deep Elm has been releasing these compilations for some time, and they stick to a basic formula. Unreleased tracks only, and they listen to the songs without knowing who the bands are. So, to say the least, it's an unpretentious compilation, where small bands are billed as highly as big ones. And to be honest, that's how it should be.

Suffice to say, any compilation that starts (in Volume 1) with Jimmy Eat World, and the almighty Samiam, has a tough act to follow. But later compilations have included Pop Unknown, Appleseed Cast, Starmarket, and my new favourite "Emo" band, Planes Mistaken for Stars. So they definitely do not disappoint.

The album starts with a bang, with a track by Fivespeed, called Dilemma. And believe me, it sets the stage for a diverse album. That track alone has enough dynamics to make the Pixies go home, pack it up, and start writing crappy solo albums.
Other highlights include, well, every damn track on the record. Spy Versus Spy, Keystone Sinatra, and Flux Capacitor don't just have great names, but have managed some true feats of musicianship. Emo, to me, is music that can stick a screwdriver between your ribs, and simultaneously lull you to sleep. Usually in the same song. These bands have it down. No Sunny Day Real Estate rip-off bands, but pure, primal, genuine emotion.

Don't be surprised if you haven't heard of most of the bands on the CD. But I'd be surprised if you don't soon.