The term “emo revival” has been thrown around the indie music interwebs a lot lately, coinciding with the rise of prominent internet labels like Topshelf Records. Though there’s an issue with the term “emo revival” itself (there was no “revival”; people just stopped paying attention when the face of emo music revealed itself to be Patrick Stump’s scraggly countenance), “new” emo is a widely followed scene that houses a legion of talented musicians and exceptional bands (see: The World Is a Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid to Die, Owen, Nai Harvest, The Hotelier, American Football, or just take a listen to the Topshelf Records compilation for a good introduction to the scene).
Joining this “revival” of sorts is the Tyler, Texas-based outfit I Wish I Could Skateboard. The quartet just dropped their first EP I Appreciate Your Lack of Confidence earlier this month, and it exemplifies everything that is good about emo. Take, for example, the album’s featured track, “I Don’t, Do You?”: musically, the song takes cues from American Football’s brand of twinkly virtuosity, a crystalline song in its guitar and bass sounds as well as its production. The overlaid guitars, bright bass playing and solid drums display musicianship reminiscent of Rodan at times, Deafheaven at others (check out the shoegaze-turned-emotional-climax of the final thirty seconds).
Lyrically, “I Don’t, Do You?” is self-deprecating while also maintaining a sense of irony: “I am completely right and you are wrong/Because my quasi-intellectual bullshit proves it.” Across the EP, the lyrics play off the themes of self-doubt common in emo music, but they do so in a way that is not overly maudlin. The same can be said of the vocal performances; they are impassioned without being overly whiny.
Alex Bhore of This Will Destroy You recorded I Appreciate Your Lack of Confidence at former funeral home Elmwood Studios. The clean sound and emotive expressiveness of the EP is no surprise considering a member of This Will Destroy You recorded it. With I Appreciate Your Lack of Confidence, I Wish I Could Skateboard provide us with an incredibly coherent and enjoyable EP. This is certainly a group worth keeping an eye on.
Stream the EP right here, and go over to I Wish I Could Skateboard’s Bandcamp to download it.