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Pull Up the Floorboards

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Album Review

The first full-length by Lock & Key delivers of the promise of their 2003 EP by stripping down their music to its post-hardcore basics. Although the term "emo" has been so casually applied (to bands as fundamentally unalike as Dashboard Confessional and Weezer) that it's basically useless anymore, Pull Up the Floorboards reminds listeners of what the term meant in its earliest incarnation. Lock & Key's influences are fairly obvious — echoes of Fugazi, Hot Water Music, and to a lesser extent Sunny Day Real Estate, abound — but the key factor is that the quartet do this sort of thing really, really well. Singer Ryan Shanahan has the gruff, barking but never tuneless vocals, and he and second guitarist Mike Vera rarely succumb to the sort of lockstep unison riffage that weighs down so many albums of this type. Songs like "The Process of Molting" are passionate without the irritating affectations of "lookit how intense I am 'n' stuff" that dogs so many less mature bands, and although "Volatile" is so Fugazi-like you'll be checking the liner notes to make sure it's not a cover, it's also the most powerful song on the album.

Customer Reviews

And The Critics Say...

"It takes a band like Lock And Key to remind me why I loved this type of music so much in the first place. On Pull Up The Floorboards, Ryan Shanahan's hoarse voice, when singing, is gruff and when screaming, impassioned. The instrumentation is loud and intense, taking a page from the band's heroes like Hot Water Music and Fugazi, incorporating emo and post-hardcore into a vicious blend of pounding rhythms, driving yet melodic guitars and vicious intensity. It's the way emo used to sound: pure urgency and powerful guitars and rhythm. Pull Up The Floorboards is a great record, well produced and well played. It reminds me of a style that never really died out." - Delusions Of Adequacy "If more bands aspired to master emo as it was known courtesy of Jawbreaker and Samiam, we'd have more bands like Boston's Lock And Key to listen to instead of an embarrassing myriad emo-lite groups. Their debut full-length, Pull Up The Floorboards, comes on the heals of their much heralded No Fate EP and several stateside tours. Showcasing the formidable presence of Ryan Shanahan in the midst of a bevy of angst-laden songs that bleed sincerity and desperation, Pull Up The Floorboards is one of the best emo releases in recent history." - Weekly Alibi "Lock And Key breathes new life into the post-hardcore sound championed by Hot Water Music, Fuel and Fugazi. The rough vocals give them a raw edge, but the music is textured and atmospheric without seeming complicated or indulgent. Pull Up The Floorboards is best thing Deep Elm has put out this year." - Punk Planet "Best Boston Band 2004!" - Boston Phoenix "Hailing from Boston, post-hardcore purveyors Lock And Key have been making some serious headway in their hometown (and outside of the area, too). Boasting a fast and frenzied rhythmic assault, dynamic guitar work and an intensely raw vocal presence on Pull Up The Floorboards, the group's releases for Deep Elm Records have earned them plenty of critical kudos and favorable comparisons to Fugazi and Hot Water Music." - Artvoice "This Boston-based post-hardcore quartet delivers masculine vocals that are gruff, but not indecipherably screamy, layered in guitar parts that weave between thick-and-low and melodic-and-flowery, recalling intelli-punk like Boy Sets Fire." - Charlotte Observer "There are many indie rock bands deserving of attention and praise, and Lock And Key is one of them. They carry on the tradition of Fugazi and do it well. Songs are bold, sincere and refreshingly lacking in irony. Pull Up The Floorboards is colorful and indicative of the band's eagerness to express its burnt-wire psyche." - Savannah Morning News "Lock And Key is throwing tenderness to the sharks and embracing abrasion, which it brings in droves on the gruff punk of Pull Up The Floorboards." - Columbia Free Times "Lock And Key can dish the intensity, but this rampaging act also has a heady dash of hope in its music. Their intense new album, Pull Up the Floorboards, bristles with a punk drive, yet the hope is never far away. Ryan Shanahan has a barking voice that could peel paint, but the group also has a promising melodic sense amid the locomotive rhythms. Lock And Key is one of the hot Boston bands to watch in 2005!" - Boston Globe

Pull Up the Floorboards, Lock And Key
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  • $9.90
  • Genres: Alternative, Music
  • Released: Oct 26, 2004

Customer Ratings