Emery still goes strong with new album “White Line Fever” (review)

Emery

To say that Emery has stood the test of time is an understatement. A band that persisted through the wild phases of the 2000s and the 2010s, we are now in 2020 set to hear new music from the group after they formed their brand Bad Christian in 2015. Serving as a label, a podcast, and a blog, Emery’s been busy as can be, but stays creative with their newest effort, White Line Fever, set to release this Friday.

White Line Fever starts with “This Town,” and echoes what Emery has done well in the past: layering vocals while each instrument works in conjunction to support them. Toby Morrell can still hit passionate high notes like in decades past, providing a delicate falsetto in the bridge. Back into post-hardcore territory, “The Road Beneath My Feet” has a higher tempo and a more angst-driven rhetoric. There’s such a commanding presence behind Toby’s words that echo through the intensity of the instrumentals.

“The Noose” brings unclean vocals into the fray for just a few moments, delivering impact before the mighty chorus riff. The guitar prowess is really showing in carrying the verses while sounding dominant in the chorus. “Some of Us” is a call to take risks and get out of one’s comfort zone, delivered beautifully in soft songwriting. “Now What” continues the creative flow with piano integration and more shouts from Toby to match his otherwise-easy delivery.

“2:38” opts for a catchy presentation, with great storytelling in the lyrics. Almost chronicling the band’s journey, it’s a celebration of what Emery is about and how they’ve gone strong for two decades. Next, “Biddy” features another vocally-layered section that’s just so compelling to hear; with two lines at once, the tangents are more intertwined than one would expect, crafting a smart dichotomy.

Toby’s lower register is explored in “Make Yourself Sick,” a somber foray supplemented by synth. The climax sees the band impressively firing on all cylinders near the end. “Civil Wars” sees the theme of confrontation tackled, with the heaviness ramped up near the end once more. “Voices in the Air” gets a quiet intro before jumping into an emo-tinged verse to make this a White Line Fever highlight track. The record wraps up with “Sad Season” and the words “It’s only us again” reverberating before a sweet, long fadeout.

Emery is still staying relevant after almost twenty years of being a band. Breathing new life into the project with the formation of BC Records was not only a smart business move, but one that rejuvenated the band’s sound to keep them going indefinitely. White Line Fever is surely one of many more releases Emery can be proud of as they continue to flourish in the 2020s.

A press copy of White Line Fever was provided courtesy of BC Records.