Hey all, and thanks for taking the time to read the 1st installment in Four Chords & Seven Years Ago. Last week we talked aboutDown To Earth Approach and it was met with a ton of positive feedback of people listening/remembering them and reminiscing about DTEA stories. This week, we talk about Louisville, KY's Emanuel. Head to the replies to read the whole entry.
Hey all, and thanks for taking the time to read the 2nd installment in “Four Chords & Seven Years Ago.” Last week we talked aboutDown To Earth Approach and it was met with a ton of positive feedback of people listening/remembering them and reminiscing about DTEA stories.
This week, we have to talk about Louisville, KY's Emanuel. Another Vagrant Records band from the mid to late 2000s, this screamo/rock act was special. They had hype. They had energy. People were excited about them because they felt this could be the next "it" band. And they could have done that, but inevitably, they fell short of the expectations by becoming inactive after their second LP release.
Their first album is what I'll be concentrating on in this entry. Soundtrack To A Headrush was an aggressive and urgent mix of rock n' roll with the screamo sound synonymous of the mid to late 2000s that bands like a young My Chemical Romance and Senses Fail employed. Hell, at times the band took cues from acts like Saves The Day with tracks like "Dislocated." However, Emanuel was polished and refined enough to have the potential for active rock radio. Remember how bands like Red Jumpsuit Apparatus and 30 Seconds To Mars did that with large mainstream success?
The songs were heavy, riff-y, and filled with attitude and aggression. However, the hooks were still MASSIVE. Songs like "Xeroxicide" showed the band's ability to write just absolutely solid rock hits. The Machine Shop manned the boards for the album, so you knew the quality was not going to disappoint. The band supported Soundtrack To A Headrush with a LOT of touring in 2005-2006. Hitting the road with bands like 30 Seconds to Mars, Lorene Drive, Aiden, The Audition, My American Heart, Boys Night Out, and a stint on Warped Tour, the band was gaining huge momentum heading into their second album. They entered the studio with Terry Date (Pantera, Soundgarden, Deftones) and the choice of producer seemed clear - the crossover to radio.
The band emerged from the studio in 2007 with LP 2, Black Earth Tiger. The lead single, "Cottonmouth," showcased a slightly heavier and rock driven style compared to the previous record. The band headed out on tour The Receiving End Of Sirens, Hopesfall, Envy On The Coast, and others to support the record. It seemed that shortly after the release of the record, the band stopped becoming active. I can't find any announcement of a hiatus or split, nor can I find info on if they did a last show (Note: Their wikipedia says they never played a farewell show, but how credible can Wikipedia be at times?).
With that said, for those of you looking to dig into something more aggressive but still melodic that's along the lines of modern day bands like Set It Off, taken a listen to Soundtrack To A Headrush.
Soundtrack to a Headrush is an absolutely flawless album, so good front to back. Years later and many songs still regularly make it onto my playlists. With that said, the 2nd album did nothing for me, I actually didn't like it at all which was a total bummer
Also, Make Tonight seems to make girls panties fall off too, girls just love that song
Soundtrack To A Headrush remains an all time favorite album. I wish they wouldn't have suddenly disappeared after Black Earth Tiger (which also did nothing for me)...
What's even more impressive is how fresh this album still sounds nearly a decade later, unlike a lot of scene bands (Senses Fail, Hawthorne Height, Silverstein) of that time whose albums haven't aged as well.
I think I have listened to that Emanuel record as much as any other record in my entire music-listening career. There was a significant time period, where I probably listened to it all the way through, 2-3 times a day. It's a classic.
The way they open up their debut album is badass as fuck ("The Hey Man") -
Listen up, motherfuckers! This is that new unheard of unspoken, so if you're down then get down, and if you're not then get the fuck out!
In fact, the first few songs on Soundtrack to a Headrush are pretty spectacular. Nothing else they've done has really grabbed me, though.
I'm disappointed that I only saw them once (Bamboozle, as the first band to play) and the singer was sick so the show was so toned down. If I didn't know the guy was sick, I would have called their live show a complete embarrassment; it was still a big a letdown. And then they broke up.
I never understood the hype behind this band, then I saw them. They were so fucking good live that I became a fan immediately after their set.
Side-note: One of my best friends worked with their drummer for the longest time, at this pizza place in Louisville called Spinelli's. It was always really dope to be eating food made by scene royalty haha.