Christiansen – Above Lunar Emissions

Above Lunar Emissions

Catchy guitar melodies, technical drum beats, and melodic haunting vocals form the emo machine that is Christiansen. From my hometown of Louisville, KY, they are an enormously talented four-piece band whose best work has yet to be discovered. But they’re getting very close with Above Lunar Emissions.

This album has emo and pop influences in it, and it soars and declines, creating a beautiful mix of volumes and tempos topped off by Terry Campbell’s unique and incredibly beautiful vocals. “Implying Understanding” has the most addictive guitar intro and solo in it; I find myself humming just about every three seconds. Its fast-paced antics develop into a song that makes you dance around and sing along. Campbell’s singing ability is not his only strong point in Christiansen though; his drumming is incredibly precise and technical, and it would not be Christiansen without his percussive skills. “Cliché” creates a more emo feel by slowing down and then crashing into beautiful chorus breakdowns. The vocal harmonies on this song send chills down the spine as Campbell and company send waves of heartbreak and anguish through the microphones.

“Unhappy Forever Ending” is the only song I have a complaint about. The background vocals in the chorus go off-key and seem quite redundant at some points with a classic “whoa-o” behind the lead vocals. The song as a whole is still very impressive, a melodic anthem about he-said she-said and everyone is hurt in the middle. The guitar on this song is another masterpiece as it moves in the quiet parts of the song and screams in the breakdowns. “Allegory” is probably the most traditional emo song on the album; its bass part consists mainly of melodic hammers carrying the song at the beginning. The best part of the song is listening to the guitars interact – lead carrying a beautiful melody and rhythm backing it up, another beautiful song with harmonies.

“Mainly Mocking Me” is the most “radio-friendly” song on the CD, but it still is too good for the crap the mainstream churns out onto the airwaves. This song is the most reminiscent of the Get Up Kids, and songs like “Coming Clean” and “Holiday” come to mind. But Christiansen keeps the song going and creates a more “Fall Semester” groove towards the end of the song. This is my favorite song of the album; catchy guitar lines and vocal melody make this a faster paced anthem. “Striving to Please” starts with yet another moving guitar intro, but at this point though the album starts sounding alike, and I want to go fetch my One King Down CDs.

“Majestic Gift” is the most beautiful song ever written by anyone ever. The acoustic guitar at the beginning redeems the redundancy I spoke of before. This is new to the album, and it makes the entire thing worth listening to when all of the sudden the lead guitar comes in for a few measures and plays a nice little melody before reverting back to the rhythm line. And then the piano comes in and, with its out of tuneness, makes a quaint little feeling of warm fuzzies in your soul. Then the boys of Christiansen do what they do best and they bring the song to a dramatic highpoint before just bringing chills to your spine with the best breakdown of the CD. Then more out of tune piano, and the song closes. But the secret track is not here yet. Alas, the secret track is pretty cool; the guitarist plays a really cool riff while playing with an echo pedal. And then the CD is done, leaving you thinking, if they could do better they would take the world by storm. But Christiansen is not done by a long shot. Right now they’re releasing a new CD on Eulogy Records. It should be the talk of Louisville for quite a while.