DEAD ON ARRIVAL: Emery – We Do What We Want

For fans of whiny screamo.

I enjoyed Emery for a hot minute back in 2005 after The Question was released. Since then, I completely lost interest in the band grew up. I saw they had a new album out, which dropped today (March 29) entitled We Do What We Want. Two listens in and I think I’ve had enough of their stubbornness.

Somewhere in this mess lies a decent album, but it’s buried underneath the most annoying screaming I’ve ever heard paired with cliché, softcore breakdowns. I tried hard to concentrate on the album in order to give it a thorough review, but some jerk (keyboardist Josh Head) kept screaming over everything, to the point where I wanted to shoot myself in the head with a nail gun. Seriously, the guy needs to just shut the fuck up. ALBUM RUINED!

I’ve thought about this long and hard for a while: if screaming is the only way you know how to convey anger and aggression in your songs, then I think you’re being cheap. Bands scream nowadays because that’s what you’re “supposed to do”; what was once a pure art form has become predictable and over-used. I just don’t buy into it anymore.

The album cover is a bit plain but I guess goes along with the overall theme of We Do What We Want. During an interview with Noisecreep earlier this month, singer TobyMorrell stated:

“I think this is our most personal, spiritual album. It talks about our faith and God, but it never gets too preachy, because it’s basically talking about me and things I’ve gone through… I can’t not tell the truth of who I am, and this time I explored that even further—just points in my life, or in the other guys’ lives. Some lyrics are about challenging authority and God, and is God real, and what that even means.” – Toby Morrell via Noisecreep

Similar album cover...completely different message.

Wow. How deep. It never has a chance to become too preachy because half the time you’ve got some dumbass screaming at you.

The bottom line is, I stopped listening to this band for a reason. The album has a few “that’s pretty cool” moments, but like I said before, it’s all lost under brain aneurysm-inducing screams and a watered-down, passive presentation from the band, which caused me to become very apathetic to what they’re trying to convey. Maybe some of you out there can explain the appeal of this band to me because I’m not getting it at all, so take my opinion with a grain of salt. Let the hate comments begin!

Wrecked Rating: 1.5 / 5



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8 Responses to DEAD ON ARRIVAL: Emery – We Do What We Want

  1. Martin says:

    Emery has always been and still is an atroious excuse for post-hardcore, but “whiny screamo”? haha you’ve got to be kidding me…

  2. Nathan says:

    I don’t know, I think it’d be pretty hard to listen to something this good if I had a beer box over my head and a dick up my ass too.

  3. Nate says:

    First of all, I enjoy the scream. I find it different than the obnoxious cliche sounding screams of a lot of bands out there. Granted, high screams are about all I can listen to. Low screams just make me wanna punch someone. Anway, /end tangent. The lyrics are actually quite decent, some being less than desirable, while others are fantastic. Don’t let the fact that you dislike a screamer ruin an album for you. But to each his own. Frankly put, I enjoy the scream, and screaming is *not* overdone (as you say it is) by “most bands”.

    • Brad Whiteside says:

      What kills the screaming for me is there is no variation/dynamics to its execution. The placement of the screaming parts also makes it very obnoxious, hence I get this feeling that he’s just screaming all over the place. In fact, I think the album would have been ten times better if there was no screaming at all (and I love a good screaming anger-fest any day). Just my opinion. Thanks for not coming in here, guns blazing, hurling insults around. Level-headed commentary WIN!

  4. AW says:

    I’m going to have to disagree with you man. This album is really good, though not their best (my personal favorite being “I’m Only A Man”). Now, i can understand the frustration some may experience with Emery singing about failed relationships and such, but now that we are on their 5th album and know what to expect from them, being mad at it is kind of foolish. I was excited with the statements about this being their “most spiritual and personal” album to date, I knew it wouldn’t be an Emery album without “love lost”. I wasn’t excited with all the buzz of it being the heaviest. I grew out of all that hardcore stuff, but this is the only album I can listen to, with the amount of screaming it has. I agree with Nate, letting the screamer get to you so much that it ruins the album for you is kind of crazy. All the other bands nowadays that do nothing but scream all sound the same, just not that much talent. Emery does it, buts adds their own twist and make it listenable. I guess what I’m trying to say is that this album is good for what it is, there are way worse albums out there. Pretty much pick any album in the hardcore genre, and it’s going to suck. I’ve been an Emery fan since “The Weaks End” and have loved them ever since. Anyway, thats my view on it, I respect your opinion. The world has to turn somehow huh? :) God Bless

    • Brad Whiteside says:

      See my response to Nate above. It’s hard to separate feelings for a band when you’ve been a devoted fan so long, so I know where you’re coming from. Thanks for being such a good sport about it though! I’m not so nice when it comes to critiquing albums, heh.

  5. Jimmy Ma says:

    So I just wanted to put my two cents in. . .and when I initially read this, I thought that your opinionated taste in music got in the way of this review, but I then took a listen and realize why I would ever doubt your taste in music considering we have similar taste in music. . . this was a pretty bad album considering I been a fan since Weak’s End. . .. and I knew something was different but I couldn’t pick it out on the first or second track but did some research and one of their singers left the band. . . .sigh. . the good one, devon shelton. .i went back to listen to everything after The Questions. . .and for what it worth. . I am only a man, in shallow sea we sail, and while broken hearts prevail are all great albums. . . you should definitely check them out man. . .thought i chime in have a good one guys awesome job on this site!

    • Brad Whiteside says:

      JIMMY MA! Thanks for the input man. I really try to maintain a certain level of objectivity with my reviews, but to be honest, a review is just a glorified opinion, ya know? There are tons of music sites that review music and this is just one of many opinions floating out there on the Internet Sea; some will praise this album and some will say it’s a huge pile of shit. Thanks for checking the site out dude. I’m definitely going to go back and listen to some old Emery now and see how I feel.

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