Ever We Fall – Endura EP

Ever We Fall
Endura EP

Once upon a time, I was a young and naïve reviewer. One of my first reviews was an album by On the Might of Princes called Sirens. I hope the band enjoyed the review, because looking back on it, I really don’t. I should’ve given it about a million more plaudits, asked for a pick of the week, and generally been much more upfront with my love of the disc.

I go on this retrospective vibe due to the fact that I received a package almost exclusively containing albums labeled as emo, and only album even comes close to touching the grandeur of OTMOP’s genius. Thus, I’m starting a comprehensive five-week series: Bad Emo and how to avoid it, parts 1-5. It doesn’t seem fair to compare emo these days to old school emo (rites of spring and such), so I’ll stick to comparing to OTMOP for five weeks.

Bad Emo and how to avoid it, part one: Don’t be derivative. Ever We Fall has produced a six-song album entitled Endura (is it uncool to call an EP an EP these days?). While it clangs in all the right places and drops the chorus right where you want it, while it features a small amount of interesting guitar work and a passable amount of good drumming, still, this feels old. Where OTMOP threw in breakdowns that made no sense in places that made even less sense, Ever We Fall paints by the numbers. Thus, I pass this diagnosis:

This is ear candy, pure and simple. The best example would be the verbose “Unwind,” a simplistic, “I know what’s coming next”-songwriting style that kills this song as it does most of the songs on here. The vocals aren’t unique at all – Coheed’s got them beat. There’s the obligatory quiet section – the ‘hardcore’ drums-n-bass section – the obnoxious chord-stab section – the hyperactive chorus section – the (you knew it was coming) high-end screech that seems to fade off into the chords. Even the breakdown feels strangely like it’s been heard before.

The structure isn’t necessarily the evil, although it helps. It’s the fact that the band just doesn’t do anything interesting with guitar tone or guitar chords or anything. OTMOP specialized in messed-up chords and messed-up riffs, messed-up vocals, and a generally freaked-out sound. The closest Ever We Fall ever gets to rage is in “Aria,” where a bunch of guys yell over a driving chord structure that sounds like it got dug up from the bottom of Lake Grunge.

The members are technically very good at their instruments (the guitarist is especially deft at single-note structures), so I can see this stuff on the radio because it’s not challenging at all. Unfortunately, that means nothing contributed to archives of emo – nothing new and exciting. I just can’t get into bands like this. It’s quite frustrating.