Part of the growing movement of keyboard-driven breakdown oriented pop-punk with inexplicable death growls that pair off against each other in some kind of bizarre call-and-response, like the Cookie Monster phoned Michael Jackson. But a style’s a style, and the precocious FiveOhFirst coalesce its varying pop and metal elements, even bringing in those darling high school chorus-esque sections. Come on, sing along! They released a self-titled EP in January and while they were just recently through the area, expect them to blow through again. myspace.com/fiveohfirst.
There’s more to emo then teardrop haircuts and tight pants, and Bears And Bright Lights are proving it. The band’s ambient-emo sound will grab you, shake you and pull you in. Delay and sound manipulation give Bears And Bright Lights the angsty epic-ness that make melodies aurally pleasing. Lyrically, Bears And Bright Lights go with the old saying “quality over quantity.” The lyrics are simple, but they pack a punch of heartbreak and a little bitterness, but all while being really pretty. Hailing from New Brunswick, Bears And Bright Lights are a band to listen to when you are looking for emo tunes that are more than the usual “woe is me” music and lyrics. myspace.com/bearsandbrightlights.
Move over Chiodos and A Day To Remember; with any luck—and assuming Auto-Tune hasn’t alienated enough people yet—Iselin, NJ-based Marilyn Is Dead will have rooms bursting with dancing hardcore kids with a sweet tooth for synths and soaring vocals. Oh, and don’t forget the Cher-worthy bridges that evolve into growling breakdowns. Hey man, if the shoe fits, might as well throw it to the dogs and see what happens when it gets back. Nothing solid is announced yet from the band but they’ve promised a whole bunch of new stuff. myspace.com/marilynisdead.
Finally, the Jersey Shore is giving us more than blowouts and fake tans. Almost There is a three-piece pop-rock band from Asbury Park that creates simply catchy, high-energy melodies. Guitarist Ed Soles and bassist Zach Sicherman’s voices mesh well together to carry the songs with harmonies that make the group really stand out among others in the genre. Almost There offers a little something for everyone with their mix of pop-punk and acoustic rock, and while you may not find yourself fist pumping to it, you will definitely want to bop your head in musical approval. They will be releasing a new EP, Losing Someone To Find Yourself, this month leading the band in a more mature direction from their previous EP, Audio Takeover. myspace.com/almostthererock.