Emma Ate The Lion – Nothing Important Happened Today

This is it’s own brand of “indie rock”, somehow updated in a very distinctive way. I’m going for “art rock” here, even though the genre is kind of shady, because of the exotic rhythms, guitar work and synths – there is a conscious effort into making it more sophisticated and aesthetically interesting while staying in the more elastic and comfortable alternative rock genre. What strikes me as specially good in this release though is the impressive amount variation. The tracks go everywhere and back. There’s an exuberance of different sections, both subtle developments and clean breaks,  as well as nice instrumental sections, sometimes focused on synths, sometimes on guitars, but always an opportunity for the drummer to freak out a little bit. There’s enough instrumental goodness to impress the average music-lover or metalhead in general.

The very good singing, with a quite recognizable main voice (sounds a bit like Cold War Kids at some points, but the instrumentals are in a level way way higher), looms over all with equally competent lyrics, and the interplay with the back vocals is yet another factor for variation, as well as the main singer experimenting with different singing styles and emotions.

In general, you can sense this is very well crafted and has been through a ton of work and effort. That might hurt it’s catchiness though, which is completely irrelevant to me and probably to most of the blog’s readers, but I can see how a track like “Viral Extensions” might lose at least half a dozen sections and instantly become more radio-friendly. It’s a bold move to not fall for that trap and the kind of heroic deed that will frequently pass unrecognized, so I stand as one of the few people who will thank the band for this. And anyhow, “Capillaries Bursting Like Fireworks” is much closer to being radio-friendly (even with a lenghty instrumental section). I’ve been following this release for sometime, so I remember when Capillaries… was the only track available on the bandcamp page. It sure does feel like the natural single on the album, I can only hope it achieves some kind of success.

Now a few words about the lyrics. I didn’t care for them the most of the time. One of the reasons why Capillaries… is so catchy is the meaningful repeated one-liner “Father will I see you again?”, which is lacking in possibly every other track. Like I said before, the lyrics are competent though. Most tracks don’t have a repeating chorus in the traditional sense,  they don’t tie the song together, and are instead overwhelmed by the different sections, you don’t get that “here comes the chorus” feeling, and that’s great. Because of that, if you don’t listen to the music while reading the lyrics, some of the best lyrical moments are probably lost, which means that some emotional punch is gone. Most of it sits between nonsense and hermetical though, so the lyrics play well their part of a medium for the singing.

Anyhow, this is a great release, very well recorded and certainly worth a couple of listens.

-Carpeaux

2 thoughts on “Emma Ate The Lion – Nothing Important Happened Today

  1. in the last paragraph, you wrote,

    “most songs don’t have a repeating chorus”

    dude, did you even listen to the record?

  2. You are right, thanks and I’ll rephrase that. It’s just that the choruses don’t tie the songs together by repeating regularly but are instead overwhelmed by the multitude of different sections. You don’t get that “verse – chorus – verse – chorus – development – chorus chorus chorus”… You get the idea.

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