It’s exciting to hear how ubiquitous the sound of emo has become these days in indie/alternative music. Between half-screamed, half-sung vocals, and complex rhythm structures, the general idea of emo varies from band to band. The refreshing part, however, is how each band utilizes and flexes this concept to their own sound. Wall, NJ, band Halogens crafts a fun, flowing take on emo, combining elements of alternative rock and funk. Their self-titled EP, released on West Long Branch label Why Bother Records, is a powerful effort, one that starts the new year off effectively.
Opener “Kitchen Sink” is a headlong rush of excitement, marked with notes of despair: “I wanna be something my mother’s proud of/Never had a reason to be quite too proud of me.” Starting a new year, there is always a need to do better, to want to be better, so this track feels especially relevant to that. What is admirable is how the band doesn’t take anything too seriously, and adds enough of a playful edge to balance out the bold statements. One of the best aspects of this record is the rollicking, quick drum parts, played effortlessly by George Saives. Lead single “Ayúdame!” proves this, with no two verse patterns sounding the same. The refrain “They can’t remember what they felt, or what they felt before”, is a satisfying line, one that is sure to inspire many.
Halogens is a playful, semi-serious effort, one that blends alternative and emo in a smart, satisfying way. Look out 2016, we’re starting strong.
Favorite Tracks: “Kitchen Sink”, “Ayúdame!”, “Olive Garden, Pt. 2”
Where to Go from Here: The Front Bottoms – The Front Bottoms, Modern Baseball – You’re Gonna Miss it All, Sorority Noise- Joy, Departed