Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

A Second Chance

January 20, 2004

If I were asked to give a definition of an ideal emo band, I’d have two definitions:

1.        A slightly dark fusion of rock, hardcore, and punk, played by white guys with two guitars, aggressive rhythm section, and a singer with a solid voice and emotional problems.

2.        A Second Chance.

Yes, A Second Chance personifies emo to me. There is no genre-mixing here. This is straight-up emo, the way it should be. And it rocks hard. All four songs on this EP are fantastic, and fantastically memorable (Yes, you can have a song that sounds awesome, yet is hard to remember – see Modest Mouse for details).

Take “My Silhouette” for example. One of the best songs here, it is also the best display of their sound: a driving, dual guitar attack: solid, haunting vocals accompanied by occasional well-placed screams; excellent drumming; and fist-raising, scream-along passion. Any of those things separately could catch my attention, but together, they make this impossible to pass up. Another plus is the fact that use their screamer as tactfully as I have ever seen. He is used enough that he is not ignored, but not too much that he is overexposed. It’s just enough to give an extra punch of adrenaline to all songs.

While “My Silhouette” is good, it’s not the only song here. “You Tell a Tale” starts out tough, but drops down to a delicate bridge before exploding into back the most emotionally chaotic minute of the album, with three singers each singing their hearts out over crashing, wild riffs.

A Second Chance is one fantastic emo band. This CD is the first excellent CD I’ve heard this year, and all others will be measured against ASC’s brilliant EP. This CD will be a jewel in any emo lover’s crown, and I can’t WAIT for their next album.

Stephen Carradini and Lisa Whealy write reviews of instrumental, folk, and singer/songwriter music. We write about those trying to make the next step in their careers and established artists.

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