Dryjacket are clearly a group determined to follow their own path. A new addition to the burgeoning emo-revival scene, their work would not be out of place among the rosters of scene stalwarts Topshelf or Triple Crown Records.
Signing for either of those, of course, would be the safe option-both labels experienced purveyors of technical, melodic and emotional indie-rock. This makes the decision to release their debut album on Hopeless Records all the more puzzling. It’s clear that the band want to set themselves apart from their revivalist peers, and forge a new path amongst the pop-punk and metalcore of their new labelmates.
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While this streak of adventurousness is admirable, it doesn’t quite hit the target on debut album ‘For Posterity’. The songs are unquestionably technically accomplished-the noodley guitar on ‘Epi Pen Pals’ perfectly demonstrating guitarist Brad Wyllner’s talent and musicianship. All too often, however, the desire to play technically good music descends into something resembling a jam session, rather than a complete song. While the use of trumpets is a welcome nod to scene-veterans American Football, it can become a bit overpowering, and in the case of ‘Spelling Era’, almost renders the track unlistenable.
That being said, some of the song writing on ‘For Posterity’ is exemplary, and there is plenty to love about this record. Lead single ‘Misused Adrenaline’ is a wonderful burst of melancholic indie-rock, with just the right balance between the twinkly guitars of the verse, and the stomping power chords of the chorus. Similarly, ‘Bill Gates’ Ringtone’ is an unashamedly enjoyable anthem, and could well become a defining song of the emo-revival era. In addition to this, the band’s intelligence and cheeky sense of humour makes an appearance in tracks such as ‘Abe LinkedIn’.
The album should be a welcome addition to the collection of any fan of 90’s emo. The stomping choruses on offer will also win new friends among the fan-bases of their pop-punk loving labelmates.
All in all, this is a solid, if not spectacular debut album. Undoubtedly, if the band combines their sense of adventure with their song-writing chops, the direction of their career trajectory is only going to be upwards. Expect Dryjacket to be heavy hitters in the alternative scene over the coming years.