3 out of 5
Label: (digital release)
Produced by: Robert Cheek
I never went in much for the whole emo thing, which we’ll equate to a frail voiced singer with a pitch of the tinnier variety cooing over distorted, punk-tinged riffage. Even when some metal kids got in on the act and made it screamo, it didn’t often whet my whistle; the pace sped up, and you now had a yelly person trading verses with frail-voiced person, and maybe some hardcore breakdowns, but still, this ended up feeling like a dime a dozen trend that didn’t really improve upon what generally – to me – felt like the shallowness of the emo genre.
Welcome To Limerick, for the most part, doesn’t do anything to change this opinion. Lyrics are still very much of the high school variety, and our singer has the usual dainty, floaty delivery of the role. Shouty guy has a nice edge to his voice, and his passages are a bit more engaging – and encourages singer guy to get a bit more aggressive as well, which is nice – but there’s still nothing necessarily definitive or noteworthy about their shared delivery. Robert Cheek’s production rules, thankfully; often, this kind of music is either over-glossed or too wishy-washy sounding, and this is neither: it hits hard when it’s hitting, with a nice, deep, live sound.
But there is one secret ingredient here: the music itself is pretty badass. Our dual guitarist (also our vocalists) shred rather uniquely, getting in to some oddball math territory here and there with some brutally quick and quirky licks, plus some keyboard flourishes. When everyone – ahem – shuts up for the concluding instrumental, all is good, enough so to encourage me to listen to some later releases to see if the group grew out of the screamo thing, and maybe came up with some more interesting lyrics to add to the mix as well.