Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

True Emotional Hardcore

March 7, 2004

True Emotional Hardcore

I bet you 10 dollars you’ve never heard an emo song that has a synth in it. Well, “Doing Justice to Closure” by Hope’s the Carrot doesn’t just have a synth in it, it’s driven by a synth. This is a nearly 6 minute song, and the first 3 are actually not that great. Other than the synth line, there’s nothing really original here, and the vocals are off-key and somewhere between a wail and yell. It actually meshes with the chorus, oddly enough, but in the verses it’s annoying.

But at 3 minutes, the synth gets a solo, which emphasizes the effect even more. Then there is an explosion of noise augmented by a screamer, and a spoken word interlude. Then, all hell breaks lose. Two screamers virtually destroy their lungs, dark guitars thrash, drums flail wildly, bass thumps, and the wailing vocals return, but now they work, as they are just another piece of the chaos. This section, which is from 4:07 to the end at 5:45, is pure emo. These aren’t brutal metal screams. These are the screams of futility, of emotion that can’t escape, of pain, of true anger. That is true emo. The last section here is brutal in a completely satisfying way. I was in awe of the chaos that was created.

If the first three minutes of this song could be lopped off, this would be one of my favorite emo songs. The last three minutes are a shot to the back of the head, and I love them. Hope’s the Carrot is a band that understands the true meaning of emotional hardcore. If you want to know what real emo sounds like, listen to Hope’s the Carrot. Now.

This piece starts out melancholy and placid. It picks up slowly, adding a droning effect and a riveting drumbeat. The vocals drop in over it, a wail of sorts. The yelling/wailing vocals don’t work very well over the slowbeats, but once the instruments pick up for the chorus, it’s fantastic. They mesh perfectly. They add in a new-wave invoking synthesizer, giving this a fresh feel. Their screamer works even better than their vocalist. I would’ve used him more, cause whenever he screamed, it added the missing piece to this. The synthesizer gets a solo and rightfully so, because that’s what drives this song, the odd inclusion of it. 3:45 spoken word/scream part invigorated me. The screamer bashes in and this becomes awesome. The synthesizer is blaring, the screams are flailing all over the place. These aren’t brutal screams either. These are screams of futility. These are real emo. This is chaos. This is what emo is about.

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Stephen Carradini and friends write reviews of bands that are trying to make the next step in their careers.

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