Emarosa – 131
Emarosa released their latest album, 131, earlier this month – their first with Hopeless Records. Singer Bradley Walden posted a picture on Instagram the night before, saying it was his “greatest artistic effort to date”, and as someone who hadn’t really followed the band before, I have to say that this album is pretty darn good. The sound of 131 had some help – not only from new guitarist Matt Marcellus, but also a number of guests, including Jason Vena (Acceptance), Connor Denis (Beartooth), and Ryan Kienle (Matchbook Romance). Walden’s wife Meeko also provides vocals for a song.
This album has a lot of depth and soul, stemming from Walden’s vocals which are so full of emotion – shaky, raw, and passionate. An example of this is in “Miracle”, which is actually one of my personal favorites. This song also has a reminiscent sound of the band Sky Eats Airplane. This album has been a journey for Walden, from losing himself to bettering himself and asking for forgiveness – and at the end of this journey, the song “Re” ties the whole album together, borrowing lines from the previous songs. Now, I’m not saying that this album isn’t high energy, because it does have some faster paced songs, such as “Helpless” and “One Car Garage”, but is nicely balanced out with some slower, beautiful songs, such as “Porcelain” and “Never”. “Porcelain” actually has one of my favorite lines: You better love me til the day you’re gone / XO until the day I’m gone. Whether the songs are faster or slower, they have powerful choruses, and you may find yourself with one stuck in your head before you know it.
I’ve seen Emarosa live a couple of times as a supporting band, but I hadn’t paid much attention to them before. Given the nature of this review and their appearance on this year’s Vans Warped Tour, I was looking forward to giving them as much attention as possible. I caught most of their set, which started with Walden walking on the stage, jumping off and getting right into the crowd. He was there for a while, got back on stage, and then during another song he sat on a guy’s shoulders as he walked through the crowd. Later he climbed on some speakers, did some dancing, and even laid on the stage. They did play some new songs, including “Miracle”, “Blue” and “Helpless”. All of the band members were really into the performance, which made it a really enjoyable set.
Do yourself a favor and give 131 a listen. If it can convert this skeptic to a fan, then true fans will love it and make sure to catch Emarosa on their remaining dates of the Vans Warped Tour!
(Photo Credit: Ashley Osborn)