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Gritty emo-rockers Emanuel formed in 1998 amid a heavy indie rock scene in their hometown of Louisville, KY. Initially coming together while in junior high, the group -- Matt Breen (vocals/guitar), Bryan Whiteman (bass), Matthew Barber (guitar), and Anthony Brock (drums) -- drew influence from bands like the Beatles and Led Zeppelin to Smashing Pumpkins and Nirvana. Working to develop their sound throughout their teens, the group had taken on a decidedly harder and screamo-tinged edge upon graduation from high school. Shopping demos around to various labels -- and shortening their name to simply Emanuel from their original moniker Emanuel Nice -- the group signed with Vagrant Records in late 2004. Their full-length Soundtrack to a Headrush was issued in March 2005. By the end of the year, Breen focused on vocals as the band became a five-piece with the addition of second guitarist Devin Tripplet. Over the next year, two of their songs were used in video games: "Search and Destroy" was licensed to Tony Hawk's American Wasteland, and "Viscera" was released on the ATV Offroad Fury 4 soundtrack. In 2007, the group released their sophomore album, Black Earth Tiger. ~ Corey Apar
1998 in Louisville, KY