Emarosa ends four-year hiatus with ‘Versus’

By Chase Myers

When a band drops a vocalist, it could be because of internal or external reasons. When that happens, fans tend to worry, like in the case of David Lee Roth’s departure from Van Halen in 1985.

Post-hardcore band Emarosa from Lexington, Ky. has had their fair share of lineup changes. Most recently is the band’s change from Jonny Craig, current vocalist of the band Slaves, to Bradley Walden, former Squid the Whale vocalist.

When Craig left it created a hole within the band, considering he recorded two full-length studio albums with them.

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Emarosa had not released anything more than several demos since their self-titled album was released in June 2010.

In 2013, they announced Bradley Walden as the new lead vocalist for the band.

Ever since the announcement, the band has been promoting a new album by dropping hints on social media, including two short trailers on YouTube.

The band’s fourth studio album, “Versus,” was released Sept. 9.

The song “Mad” was released in April. It could not have provided a better teaser. It has traces of old Emarosa, with plenty of new elements. It also gives the listeners a taste of what Walden brings to the band.

The album starts with the song “People like me, we just don’t play”, followed by “American déjà vu,” both of which were released online prior to theelease of the album.

Both tunes exhibit what Emarosa has stood for as a band. They start strong with their distinct guitar sound, one playing rhythm while the lead plays melodically over top. There is also plenty of triplet drumbeats that add to the aesthetic of the album, while Walden wastes no time establishing his presence from the first couple seconds of the first song.

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The next song “A Hundred Crowns” has a completely different vibe than the first two and is arguably the strongest song on the record. This song is tastefully triplet heavy and sounds like something from a southern blues-rock band, but with a soulful edge in Walden’s voice.

The band continues to shake things up with the next song “I’ll Just Wait,” which is reminiscent of what rock ‘n’ roll became shortly after grunge died in the late ‘90s. With its slow building introduction and catchy chorus, it shows that simplicity can prove effective.

Walden truly shines in the next couple songs with an abundance of falsetto high melodies.

The album finishes strong with the song “1996 on Bevard,” ties in the heavier aspects of the band after two slower songs.

One thing missing in this album, which would have really perfected it, would be Emarosa bringing in some heavier post-hardcore sounds. Although the band started out heavier and have matured as a band, songs like “Set it Off Like Napalm” and “The Past Should Stay Dead” from their second album, “Relativity,” still seem much heavier than anything on this album.

This album provides a ton of beautiful hooks and melodies, something old or new fans could appreciate. It is a satisfying record that lived up to its hype.

Walden has successfully established his presence in the music scene and Emarosa has proven they are back and here to stay.

Chase Myers can be reached at [email protected]on Twitter @chasemyers_DE or at 536-3311 ext. 273

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