"We were still so cool, our bodies smooth and young. Dreams of getting older were never supposed to come. The curse of perfect days, you forget just what you've made, and find yourself just praying for something more than this life."
These lyrics from the chorus of "The Curse of Perfect Days," a single from Emery's fifth full-length We Do What We Want, do not ring true of the band in this stage of their career. Emery's best days are not over, and they have not forgotten what they've made: four solid emo/post-hardcore releases spilling over with emotion and creativity. With We Do What We Want, Emery has turned that four into a five. Combining the best elements of their first two records (and fan favorites),The Weak's End and The Question,the guys in Emery have put out another powerful record, as melodic as it is heavy; and believe me, it is VERY heavy.
The album opener, "The Cheval Glass," explodes into chaos one synth line later and leaves the unready listener in the dust with its explosive variety. The use of a breakdown early on in this song prepares the listener for the rest of this heavy record. I can guess what you're thinking at this point. Emery, a unique and creative emo band, has sold out to the cliches of the hardcore scene. Breakdowns, headbanging and senseless heaviness galore. But this cannot be further from the truth. Emery has adapted the use of this in their music in a tasteful and well-timed way, and it certainly gives more emotion and feel to the message in the songs of We Do What We Want. "Scissors" and "The Anchors" follow suit with mosh-ready sections and very interesting melodies (the chorus of "The Anchors" has a memorable pop-punk sound that will have you singing along).
Emery remains in the same vein for most of the record, blending dual-screaming and double bass with sweet singing. Just when this formula is getting repetitive, they switch up the game on us. Prepare to be awed upon listening to the latter half of We Do What We Want. "Daddy's Little Peach," a clear standout track with a jazzy intro and a great lyrics, has a strong message, and the emotional lyrics propel the song along. The last two tracks, "I Never Got to See The West Coast" and "Fix Me," show us an Emery we haven't seen before. These mainly acoustic songs have beautiful melodies and instruments from start to finish, which, when combined, are sure to give shivers down the spine. The lyrics are different here as well. The angry, angst-ridden lyrics of most of this record give way to hopeful and positive vibes with these last songs. The Christian themes are also a surprise, but they are well-timed and give emotion to the message about suicide and struggling with sin.
Listening through We Do What We Want from start to finish is a journey that will take you through heartbreak and anger into hope and salvation. The formula Emery has used on this record is perfect, leaving fans of their older material very pleased, and allowing new fans to get into their sound. In a scene where creative music of this genre is hard to come by, Emery does it very well. Listen to this record as well as their other records for a breath of fresh air in a dying genre. Support guys like this. Support real music.
RIYL: The Question, The Weak's End, heavy music, honest lyrics, track meets, girls who play volleyball.