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Very Emergency

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Album Review

Unfortunately, you will never see the Promise Ring the way they were in the days of Thirty Degrees Everywhere, but you can at least appreciate the good parts of what they have become. Their emotionally tense and sentimental edge has pretty much entirely disappeared; everything is happy, bouncy, and catchy as hell, which isn't always a bad thing. This excessively poppy direction that the Promise Ring boys take throughout this entire record was heavily hinted at on their three-song EP Boys & Girls. Perhaps one of the more upsetting things about this album is that the lyrics have lost that classic Promise Ring feel — they actually make clear sense a lot of the time. At times, the music just gets so poppy that it is sickening, such as in the sappy "bop bop bop" background vocals on "Skips a Beat (Over You)," and the references to the band members' names in an otherwise fairly decent song "Things Just Getting Good." Although three-fourths of the album is pretty much bad pop songs, it somehow grows on you, as those Promise Ring kids have the uncanny ability to do.


Formed: 1995 in Milwaukee, WI

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s

The Promise Ring were one of the most popular emo bands of the '90s, epitomizing the poppier, more accessible wing of the style. Along with Sunny Day Real Estate, the Get Up Kids, Braid, and Jimmy Eat World, they helped bring emo from the punk underground to a wider indie rock audience in the latter half of the decade. Like the exact definition of emo itself, the Promise Ring's music evolved in ways that were difficult to pin down completely; starting out as both intricate and visceral, they simplified...
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Very Emergency, The Promise Ring
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