Situation at 1200 – De-Luxe

Have you heard of My Favorite Citizen? That was an apparently short-lived band that only recorded a few songs, one of which, “Kayla Learns to Dance,” was on Deep Elm’s Emo Diaries II. I loved that song, the grooves, the emo complexities and lyrics. Well, Situation at 1200 is at least the former singer of My Favorite Citizen, grown up a little bit, playing a more textured style of rock that still has the emo tendencies.

Situation at 1200’s EP is really really pretty. The guitars are pretty and intense, the time changes are there to make a complex yet insightful sound, the lyrics, while not beautiful, have an amazing ability to relate the singer’s passions, definitely an emo-rock voice.

“Crash” is beautiful. Behind the emo-pretty guitars and drums is a heavily layered ambient keyboard sound, lending the whole thing texture. The song starts off slower and pretty and picks up, not louder, just a little faster, with the guitars playing furiously underneath the other instruments, a nice effect. This reminds me a bit of what some of the former Christie Front Drive bands are doing today, layering keyboards into rock to create more of a mood. “Can you hear the angels sing?” singer Scott Shields cries, off-key and deeply moved. “Gemini” is a bit more generic. The vocals are mixed a bit too high here, because when I listen to the guitar work in the background, I’m really impressed. It blasts fast and furious, then slows down for a pretty, again-textured feel. It’s songs like “Parachute Fails” that reminds me of both Christie Front Drive and Antarctica. The guitar plays with an echoey effect, and the vocals are more spoken, deeply buried, more heard than understood. So pretty an effect, this song. “Al Rischa” has a Jazz June feel to it, both from the vocals and the more intense, chugging style of the rock. The guitars here are amazing. This song rocks consistently. “Tranquility Basin” reminds me most of My Favorite Citizen, with its rolling rhythms, its amazing guitar work, and the vocals that work so well here. I also love the voice in the background that says “5, 4, 3, 2, 1.” This song, unfortunately too short, is my favorite on the album.

Fans of older Sunny Day Real Estate, Mineral, and Christie Front Drive will love this album. And fans of the Christie Front Drive offshoots like The Blue Ontario and Antarctica will enjoy this as well. In fact, everyone should enjoy this. The EP has a few rough spots, but I expect a full length from this band to be nothing short of amazing. If “Crash” and “Tranquility Basin” are any indication, this band is going to be consistently amazing.