Building A Better _____

Written by: TL on 13/08/2006 15:03:28

Okay, so here's an album that's gonna make you rethink the way you like your emo (given that you actually do like emo). "Building A Better _____" Is the third full length from Illinois based four-piece Park, and this time around, Park have apparently chosen to slow down their sound, when comparing it to the older albums. What "Building A Better _____" brings to the table, is slow and complex songs with moods reminding you very much of a band like Mae.

Among tracks that immediately stand out is "A Message”, a slower emotional anthem that is a typical example of how the rest of the record sounds. The lyrics are, here as well as in the rest of the songs, very sentimental and basically everything you’d expect from an emo album. The vocals are also of the well known high pitched sort, but the screams that have almost become a must in the scene, are totally absent. This is actually symptomatic for one of the most characteristic attributes of this album. Where you’ve come to expect emotional music to rely heavily on quiet-loud dynamics, this is a record where the loud parts are played down quite a bit compared to what fans of the genre have become used to.

On your usual emo anthem, you’d expect withheld and almost cynical and bitter quiet parts, exploding into wild and passionate loud ones. True rock’n roll style. Park however have chosen to distance themselves from this trend. Already on the opener "The Trophy Wife" you can start getting the hang of what’s going on here. The instruments work together nicely, in order to compose complex atmospheres, and on this particular track, especially the rhythmic section stands out, as it creates an underlying almost threatening base below the verses. A base we’ve come to expect will be used as a launch pad for the earlier mentioned energetic explosions. This just doesn’t happen in a Park song. Instead the band will usually just turn the song into a different soundscape for a while, while delivering their catchy choruses.

Here’s where a review of "Building A Better _____" is bound to become a bit subjective. If you will like this album or not, will almost exclusively depend on how you like your emo. If you’re a fan of the energy many have fallen in love with, then you will probably feel that something is lacking on this album. If however you are more into the quiet angst-filled atmospheric moods, then this might just fit your taste perfectly.

In an attempt to remain objective, I will however state the following: Park delivers quality atmospheric emo, in the more quiet end of the spectre, and fans of bands like Mae, Death Cab For Cutie and Dashboard Confessional will more than likely find that Park’s music is simply more of the good stuff they’ve come to enjoy, even if it is a bit more complex. With that said, I personally feel that loosening the ties a little and allowing for a bit of energy to enter the equation, would serve the band well.


Download: Mississippi Burning, A Message, Irukandji
For the fans of: Mae, Death Cab For Cutie
Listen: Park@MySpace

Release date 25.07.2006

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