Park Jefferson - Childhood
Record Label: Self-Released
Release Date: December 6, 2010
After a rough break up this summer, Merchant Ships fans were left waiting to see what it's members would go on to do next. Vocalist Jack Sneff and bassist Micheal Gerstien went on to form William Bonney, another screamo band, albeit a harder one than Merchant Ships ever was. Guitarist Nick Stutsman attempted to form multiple bands before finally following through with Park Jefferson. Luckily, Park Jefferson is not only better than its competition in the form of William Bonney, but it also manages to exceed both of its predecessors, Merchant Ships, and Midwest Pen Pals.
Childhood is a three song EP that was written in about a week. The songs deal with pretty much exactly what you'd expect an emo revival bands songs to be about. Ex-girlfriends, father figures, and friends. All of these are touched upon. Surprisingly though, these subjects are explored in a heartfelt and self aware manner. This leads to gems like, "I'm restless like the summer/Worn out like father's day cards/Dripping from top floor windows/I threw up blood and crashed my car" at the end of "There's Too Much Talk About Ghosts."
Stutsman's vocals are powerful, familiar, and at times, even haunting. Along with his lyrics, his vocals are able to get across a great sense of comfort and by the end of it all, you're left wondering why he hadn't handled the vocals of his previous bands as well. Backed by the talent of his band (which is made up of the remnants of another defunct Midwest screamo band, My Head In Clouds) the music is tight, twinkly, and incredibly driving. It's hard not to yell along to the entirety of the EP, "Closet Anthem" in particular.
Ultimately, what you get with Childhood is three songs written by a group of extremely talented teenagers, but no matter how talented they are, it is apparent that they are still teenagers. However, this is in no way a bad thing, as the majority of the whole emo revival scene is built upon the backs of angsty teens. So, sure, it may not be anything new, but Childhood is an extremely good debut that shows a wealth of potential for the band, and as previously mentioned, this EP was written within a week. One can only imagine what they could write given months.
Lets just hope it doesn't take that long to see another release from them.