On the Might of Princes – Sirens

On the Might of Princes is from Long Island, New York. Long Island seems to be the latest breeding ground of great music, as a bunch of bands have come out of there lately, most notably Brand New and Taking Back Sunday. I’m not sure if OTMOP will ever ‘break out’ of NY, because ‘breaking out’ implies getting signed to a national label and getting radio play. And basing on this album, they are never going to get play on a radio. Ever.
This music is melodic screamo/emo with post-punk leanings. It would fit in very well with the Deep Elm roster, and since Deep Elm has this genre cornered, I’m not sure how OTMOP slipped through their fingers. The adjectives to describe OTMOP’s guitar-fueled landscapes are as diverse as the music: soaring, gritty, harsh, wistful, crashing, rhythmic, empty, deliberate, and a multitude more. The vocals also see much variation, sometimes giving off a post-shoegazer vibe (as in the unintelligently titled “Go Fuck Yrself”), or all-out screamo (see “My Hands: Landmines, Landfills”), or just plain singing (the elegant “The Swell and the Breaking”). The music is thick, layered, and dark at times, but empty, hollow, and invasive at others. No two songs are alike, although an overall feel of fear and anger lies over this like a rain cloud.
The hardcore emo madness of Planes Mistaken For Stars comes to mind, but PMFS isn’t as overly melodic as OTMOP is. Everything hangs on melody, but hardly anything on lyrics. Even when singing (as opposed to screaming or whispering), the lyrics are indistinct, and it’s really just the noise conveying emotion here. The printed lyrics are chaotic pieces of poetry, deep yet using such simple language that it seems as if it must be simple. Oddly juxtaposed statements such as “We are waving ourselves from the audience; There’s no need to fight a following sea,” fill all of their songs. And if one were to give an accurate description of OTMOP, one would have to include something about the drums. Complex, tasteful, and timely, the drums here bang out a thick, strong vibe for the rest of the band. They even give the drums a long outro solo in “You Whistle, I’ll Shoot.”
All in all, this is one fantastic piece of post-hardcore emo. If I were to try to explain this any better I would have to go through and analyze every single track individually, due to its extreme diversity. This is not run-of-the-mill emo; this is polished, veteran, passionate music. I hate it when I find an album this good, because I can never make a convincing enough argument for you to get this. If you like emo, you will love this disc with a passion. It’s just simply amazing. A must-have for fans of Deep Elm Records.