Thursday, January 13, 2011

We Are the Emergency - Whispers and Fragments

We Are the Emergency are a band worth giving a second chance. While it's not fair to blame those who disliked Seizures, as it was a mediocre, typical scene-type album, many of them will find a welcome surprise in We Are the Emergency's follow-up, the 2010 release Whispers and Fragments. The album has a more progressive vibe overall, utilizing some elements such as intricate guitar lines and unique song structures bands like Tides of Man, PMtoday, and Circa Survive are known for. The screaming is limited throughout the album and, when it's included, it fits the music a majority of the time. One of the best tracks is "Ink Well Paper Stains" due to its catchy chorus, background ambience, beautiful, melodic guitar lines, and guitar-and-piano-dominated, jazzy conclusion. "Don't Bite the Hand That Feeds" is another standout from the album, utilizing bells in the verses and interesting guitar effects throughout. In addition, "When Everything Is Done" could have easily been the token throwaway ballad so many scene bands include on albums nowadays. However, it's actually quite a beautiful song, with male-female vocal harmonies, pretty bell tones, and strings. In fact, female background vocals are a feature throughout and are one of the factors that elevates this album above other releases from its genre this past year. Whispers and Fragments is a step in the right direction for We Are the Emergency and hopefully the band continue to progress towards a more creative sound. It will be exciting to see what direction they head in on their next release.

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