Emanuel and the Fear - Emanuel and the Fear
Release Date: January 27, 2009
Record Label: Paper Tiger Records
Emanuel and the Fear is an eleven piece collective from New York, New York. They were recently featured as one of L magazine's "8 NYC Bands you Need to Know" and recently released their debut, self titled EP. This self titled EP is a five track venture throughout the many different facets of indie-pop, each of which the band manage to pull off perfectly.
"The Rain Becomes the Clouds" starts off the EP, and it's a fairly straightforward track, starting with handclaps and a bouncy synth beat before erupting into the lush instrumentation that is sure to become a staple of the bands sound. However, about the time you become acclimated to the cacophony of horns, violins and percussion, you meet the stripped down, singer-songwriter feel of "Comfortable Prison." Of course, this doesn't even compare to the sparse effects building up the front end of "Jimme's Song." This growing track starts off awesomely, with the first half of the song almost sounding like a sound check for the latter half as it builds and each instrument enters as the vocalist, Emanuel Ayves, moves his voice from calm and collected to hasty and earnest. The lyrics of "Jimme's Song" in particular are rather pointed and should speak to either those that have "lost the dream" or 40-year old musicians in Creed cover bands, (in two entirely different ways), with their story about a man that "don't wanna do nothin but be in a rock band." This song thrives on it's percussion section and the eclectic instrumentation, especially the fiery synth lines, really drive the track.
Moving onward, "We're All Alright Tonight" showcases Ayves' experimentation with auto-tune, and he pulls it off exceptionally well. The mechanical timbre on lines seemingly describing the manner in which we seem to live our lives, that is, mechanically and conforming, comes across as pretty ironic and tastefully done. "Two" begins with a soft piano intro that grows more chaotic and ominous throughout the track, and serves as a pretty substantial closer to this marvelous EP.
While "Jimme's Song" and "We're All Alright Tonight" easily stand out as the two most powerful tracks from the album, the whole thing is pretty masterfully done, and in all seriousness, if they were exposed to right demographic (say, a little zine called Absolutepunk.net), I think Emanuel and the Fear could gain a pretty substantial fanbase.