In Shallow Seas We Sail
“Cutthroat Collapse” rips open In Shallow Seas We Sail with the abrasiveness of throat-bursting screams and guitars that contrast discordant, hardcore roots with melodic picking. Lead singers Toby Morell and Devin Shelton are exploring a call-and-response vocal style that works best when braided into guitar arpeggios. And when rubbing against Josh Head’s bloodcurdling howls, Emery’s dynamics take on deeper dimensions that sound more heady and heartfelt than many of their screamo contemporaries. Considered a return to form by their fans, In Shallow Seas We Sail actually picks up where their 2008 EP Where Broken Hearts Prevail left off. In fact, two songs from that recording show up here — “The Smile, the Face” and “Edge of the World.” The tuneful parts of the former recall hints of early U2, while the latter chugs with muted guitar rhythms and the kind of distorted vocal effects Trent Reznor made popular in the ‘90s. The bonus track “Closed Eyes, Open Hands” begins like a piano ballad with Morell and Shelton’s vocals pushing, pulling and harmonizing together before less aggressive guitars come in to rock with more finesse.