Rapid Fire Emo Reviews – Terraveer and Focus Ring

Posted: by Sean Gonzalez

Terraveer – Carl

What Terraveer possess is a youthful vigor of emo/post-rock that is wonderfully ambitious. At times the vocals are a bit too out of pitch for my own natural harmony resolve but there are times where every ounce of desperation is pushed through the wiry vocal delivery and it works. “Winslow” is a perfect example, finding the narrator in bitter moments of self-doubt and angst. The actual composition of each song is fully of great guitar work that drift into post-rock territory as most emo bands have begun to do. Lyrically, one will find solace in “Penelope” and opener “Daisy.” There is plenty of charm in the songs and having the glimmer of hope in the lyrics makes for each one to have a more exciting journey to travel through. The drums are a bit lacking but for a very young band and their second release, Carl shows the talent that Terraveer have. Cleaning up the production issues will be beneficial and finding a way to channel the angst with more explosive instrumental pieces will help as well. Also, “Carl” itself is the most polished and audible song on here, possessing a great amount of drive in the drums that falls into a natural release in the chorus. The ending reflective chorus is the majesty of Terraveer, a group looking to find themselves as well as help find you. They dive into the water and are fearless, looking for the next place to surface with warm music.

Score: 6.75/10

Focus Ring – Introduction

Almost on the opposite side of the emo genre, Focus Ring resonate more with the old styles of whine centric music that bled through Dashboard Confessional songs in the early 2000s. Possessing a shaky voice and an acoustic guitar, Erik Paulsen opens the record with an in your face energetic assault of music on “Shaky Hands”. The lyrics feel very vomited out and it works in bringing out the dire need of what Paulsen has to let out. “Fade” is another upbeat tune where Focus Ring lands perfectly in stride, arms up and voice loud. In general, the shorter Paulsen makes his voice the better the song, which is when we find more upbeat tempos for him to spill over. On a few of the slower tracks, such as “Trespasses” or “Everything You Used To Hate,” Paulsen tries to hold higher end notes that come off a bit weak. The range isn’t entirely pleasing, and the final “woh’s” on the former track are a bit too abrasive. That’s not to say that Paulsen can’t blend his emotion in a slow burner track, as “Cheering” is fantastic. It is moody and hopeless, catching fire near the end of the tune with Paulsen hitting a range of pure desperation instead of the falsetto vocals (which broke “Secondary”). Still, Paulsen has confidence and persistence to continue on in the face of any fear, attributed by “Damned.” The track has a catchy chord progression made memorable by the lyrics. Introduction is a gripping debut LP because it’s full of enterprise and whimsy. A bit rough around edges, but that’s exactly what Paulsen wants, as attested to his witty closer “Tape.” It’s an upbeat tune that compares himself to the current trends of the industry and it’s in great taste. “I’m no vinyl, but at least I’m consistent, I’m always here for you regardless of the day, it’s something I can’t explain.” The extended metaphor is well done and with that, Paulsen bows out with a swagger in his strut.

Score: 7/10