First appearances can be quite deceiving, like the ethereal synths that introduce “The Cheval Glass”—opening track on Emery’s We Do What Want. After these initial few moments of calming serenity, listeners are rocketed onto a jarring collision course with some of the most pummeling music the band has ever recorded, quickly turning into a white-knuckle thrill ride destined to have fans holding on tight. It doesn’t let up much from there.

Before closing with two quiet stunners, We Do What We Want pulls no sonic punches for most of its first eight cuts, and it’s hardly an accident; from its very inception, the record was intended to provide a level of aural devastation that the veteran post-hardcore outfit, now five full-lengths into their career, have explored in the past, but never realized to this extent. With a separate acoustic release also planned for the near future, Emery opted to make their latest as face-melting as possible, and they’ve certainly succeeded.

“The overall vibe of the album is heavy, heavy, heavy. That's what we were going for; we wanted to see how far we could take it,” says vocalist/guitarist Toby Morrell. “We wanted to make this album the heaviest thing we had ever done, and I think we accomplished it.”

Emery—which currently also includes lead guitarist Matt Carter, keyboardist Josh Head and drummer Dave Powell—made their full-length debut on Tooth & Nail Records in 2004 with The Weak’s End, followed by 2005’s The Question. The band’s ever-building momentum continued in 2007 with I’m Only A Man and 2008 with the When Broken Hearts Prevail EP, leading up to the group’s monumental 2009 release ...In Shallow Seas We Sail, which captured a creative zenith for Emery that fans and critics still savor. After its release Emery toured extensively, with Underoath and August Burns Red on a fall/winter tour, before embarking on the "Scream it Like You Mean it" tour in the summer of 2010 with Silverstein, Ivoryline, Dance Gavin Dance, We Came As Romans, Sky Eats Airplane and I Set My Friends On Fire.

But as the band began work on their next effort, the seeds of change took root. Vocalist, rhythm guitarist and bassist Devin Shelton chose to take an indefinite hiatus, putting the vocal and lyrical responsibilities solely on the shoulders of Morrell, who rose to the challenge. Having completed the scorching music first, when the time came to pen words Morrell found himself in a much more pensive, ideological place than in previous sessions, and the tone of the tracks prompted a hard look inward. Other personal factors, like Morrell’s burgeoning maturity and his recently becoming a father, all play a hand in the album’s underlying message.

“Lyrically I think this is our most personal, spiritual album. It talks about our faith and God, but it never gets too preachy, because it's basically talking about me and things I've gone through,” shares Morrell. “I can't not tell the truth of who I am, and this time I explored that even further—just points in my life, or in the other guys' lives. Some lyrics are about challenging authority and God, and is God real, and what that even means.”

Morrell says the concept behind the title of the record is the notion of humans determining their own path out of free will, rather than adhering to a lifestyle dictated by God. In an age where many individuals become increasingly cynical, it is tempting to become one’s own lord; more often than not, it is indeed human nature to “do what we want.

“This is the most I've ever explored being god of your own life—the idea that if you're not worshipping God, what are you doing? Because that would mean you are the god of your life, and you want to do it your own way,” explains Morrell. “Because at the end of the day, no matter what anybody tells you, you do what you think's best. It's a lot easier to be in control than not.”

That message is painfully driven home in the track “You Wanted It,” where the tortured protagonist realizes the extent of his failures, only to have God remind him that it was all his own doing. “I’m yelling at God, who's saying, ‘This is what you wanted, and you're unhappy with this as well,” says Morrell. “’You were unhappy with me, and when you got what you wanted, it was never fulfilling. It came along with you being in control of your life, and left you here alone.’"

Morrell also explores the dark side of gender roles and male-female relations with “Daddy’s Little Peach,” which begins which misleadingly soft keyboards, over which a fictitious lady-player woos his prey with the cunning of a silver-tongued predator, turning explosive later in the song as the intended victim attempts to reconcile her conflicted identity as a daughter and single woman. The song paints a thought-provoking picture rarely explored in contemporary music.

“That song is probably the darkest, toughest one to listen to. It's basically about a guy going out one night and trying to hook up with a girl, and being totally callous and uncaring,” says Morrell. “Then the chorus is from the perspective of the girl, going 'Man, my parents always loved me and tried to protect me, but I don't know what person I am, because my parents want me this way and guys only accept me this way.' It's the idea of a girl trying to figure out who she is, and realizing she is worth more than the curves of her body.”

An unquestioned milestone comes four tracks into We Do What We Want, with the haunting “The Curse Of Perfect Days,” a song destined to become a fan favorite and live staple. Morrell’s sober, melancholy opening lines betray the deep personal significance of his words, before erupting with incendiary drum blasts and walls of shuddering overdriven guitars. The song captures all of the elements of Emery, from the fragile and beautiful to the epic and sonically thundering.

“That song's about dreams I sometimes have about my wife dying,” says Morrell. “When I was younger and didn't have a family, I feel like death never even affected me, but now there’s this under-the-surface anxiety, like if I were to die, what would I leave behind? And if she were to pass away, what would that mean for me? Would I go off the deep end, or would I be able to handle it and still try to be the best father I could be? I've been so blessed in my life, that sometimes things are so perfect that I don't know what would happen if something changed.”

With a full slate of touring already planned for the spring, including a special run of shows in Australia and at this year’s SXSW festival in Austin, Texas, Emery intend to take We Do What We Want’s bombastic tones to fans everywhere. The group’s planned acoustic release is still tentatively forthcoming, and may even include some contributions by Shelton, but for now Emery’s plans are focused solely on making eardrums bleed. Don’t say you weren’t forewarned.

“Although it's our heaviest album, there's still tons of singing, pretty melodies and choruses, so I think fans will know that this is a really good collection of what Emery can do,” says Morrell. “I think we captured that on our last album [...In Shallow Seas We Sail], and this one is kind of the same thing. But this time, you’ll bang your head more than with any other Emery album.”

The Classic Crime

What is the Classic Crime? History is filled with heroes that made the ultimate sacrifice and martyrs who died for their cause. Whether their actions were viewed as "criminal" in their day was irrelevant. From those fighting against injustice to those who stood up for the folks who don't fit in, dying for one's beliefs or one's art is the Classic Crime.

"Music has a profound effect on the listener. It even has the power to lift spirits and change lives," reasons Classic Crime singer Matt MacDonald. "If we can see our music change a life for the better, than we've been paid in the kind of way we hope to be."

The Classic Crime's new album, "Albatross," threatens to change lives in such a way with the sheer expanse of its scope, conjuring the most brilliant moments of Brand New, Thrice and Third Eye Blind while alternately sounding refreshingly original.

The vocals are unique, the lyrics are hopeful, and the boys' hearts are all in the right place. Tours with Mest, Allister and Scary Kids Scaring Kids, as well as prime placement on the Tooth & Nail Tour with Emery and Anberlin, won't hurt.

The Classic Crime is a new take on an old rock n' roll sound for a generation hungry to be heard. Producer Michael "Elvis" Baskette (Iggy Pop, Chevelle, Cold) helped The Classic Crime shape and hone their already considerably strong material into breath-taking anthems, proving how far they've come since their days as teenage pals.

Justin Duque wasn't one of the "cool" kids in school; never an outcast, but never quite popular. "I knew that high school was a big popularity contest and I never bought into it," he says. What high school did offer Duque was a chance to meet drummer Paul Erickson.

Duque and Erickson became fast friends and before too long they found themselves playing in a band called Orizon with bass player Alan Clark and singer Matt MacDonald. By the time guitarist Robbie Negrin came onboard, the time felt right to change the name.

The Classic Crime will leave their mark on the musical landscape with "Albatross." Don't worry about the over-saturation of bands out there. This album stands apart.

"If we are mentioned in the same breath as the great bands of the Pacific Northwest then I think that we'll have done something right," Duque says with modesty. Adds MacDonald: "We have been given a talent to write and play music and it is my hope to give that to other people. [We want] to inspire hope in other people."

This Wild Life

This Wild Life have only been around since 2010 but they've already had multiple lives. The duo of Kevin Jordan and Anthony Del Grosso met as outcast drummers in their hometown of Long Beach, California, and eventually formed a well-received punk act. However, they eventually started to notice that their fans seemed to gravitate toward the duo's acoustic material, which inspired them to form This Wild Life six years ago. Correspondingly if 2014's Epitaph Records debut album Clouded saw them transitioning from stage dives to sing-alongs, their new album Low Tides shows the duo taking their songwriting to the next level by fleshing out these ten tracks with expanded arrangements and inventive instrumentation. In other words, it isn't as much a reinvention as it is a progression and one that's as memorable as they come.

In the same way that Clouded saw This Wild Life transitioning into the acoustic realm, Low Tides sees them continuing that fearless process of evolution... although it wasn't an easy decision from the start. “A big part of what helped us make this record was the encouragement of Brett Gurewitz,” Jordan explains, referencing the label's owner and guitarist for Bad Religion. “He sat us down and said, 'Most bands don't change enough, so if you guys are proud of these songs don't be shy about trying new things and just go for it,” he continues. “Once we heard that our label owner was on board we knew we could make the record we wanted to make instead of just writing songs that we thought people wanted to hear.” That spirit of liberation is dripping all over Low Tides from the ominous aura of “Let Go” to the falsetto-friendly finale “Brick Wall”

“We went into this album much more open-minded than we did on the last one because we've listened to so much new music over the past three years,” Jordan explains, adding that the fact that they had more time to write and record their music this time around is another reason why Low Tides feels more fully formed. Additionally, splitting the recording duties between two producers—Copeland's Aaron Marsh and their friend Sir Sly's Jason Suwito—allowed the band to play to their strengths in a way they never have before. “Aaron is so great with organic instrumentation like strings and harmonies which we really wanted to shine through on this album,” Del Grosso explains. “Alternately Jason is a really modern producer who dove more into the moody electronic and ambient elements.” The result is the best of both sonic worlds, a fact that's evident in every note of Low Tides.

Another thing that's endeared This Wild Life to their fans is the intensely personal nature of their lyrics and the band don't pull any punches in that regard this time around. “The songs that scare me the most tend to be the ones that people connect to the most so I felt like I had to be completely open when we were writing this album,” Jordan explains. “There are some lyrics on the album that were really uncomfortable for me to write but since they were coming from such an honest place I hope that people will perceive it in a good way.” This is especially notable on “Break Down” which is a love song that's as messy as relationships are in real life and proves that you don't need metaphors and fancy wordplay in order to write a song that's relatable on a raw, emotional level. In some ways This Wild Life's direct approach makes it more real-sounding.

In other words, when the duo sing “I'm learning when to let go” over shimmering synths and crashing drums on “Let Go,” they mean it and in that spirit they've also embraced their past as a conduit for helping them become the band they are today.

When you consider the way the songs on Low Tides themselves to like performances it seems inevitable that this is the moment that takes This Wild Life out of the background and propels them into the spotlight. “For the first time in our career I think we have the production and the live show to take our performances to the next level and the songs on this album really embody that leap forward as well,” Jordan summarizes. But don't take our word for it, check out This Wild Life when they come through your city and witness their power and beauty firsthand.

Peace Mercutio

Peace Mercutio ( ) is a four-piece Pop-punk alt. rock group from Seattle, WA in the vein on Jimmy Eat World, Anberlin, and Foo Fighters

The band recently recorded a new single with producer Brett Baird at Tooth & Nail's Compound recordings in Seattle, WA utilizing the same space that captured the sounds of Anberlin, Emery, and Underoath.

Peace Mercutio has had a big year including a west coast tour with Alabaster (Seattle, WA) and Fighting The Villain (San Fran, CA) and a newly released music video for their first single "Too Close For Comfort" featured as an exclusive on The band has also received airplay on over 130 college radio stations around the country.

What makes Peace Mercutio stand out? The band showcases two lead vocalists Dan and Andy who provide the voice behind an emotional, and diverse set of story-driven songs. Taylor is the band's drummer often compared to the stylings of Taylor Hawkins of Foo Fighters and Zac Farro of Paramore. The whole outfit is anchored by the tasteful low end of David Oquist on bass. Fans of Peace Mercutio enjoy the band's mature and energetic pop-punk sound and easy-to-relate-to lyrics about life, love, and determination.

The band's debut album 'Weather The Storm' is available on iTunes, Amazon and Spotify. The album has generated press from sites including - and

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