131 is Emarosa‘s follow up album to Versus, which already proved they’re a force to be reckoned with. With their latest release they continue to impress and prove they can produce consistent, good quality material.
The lyrics are some of the best I’ve heard from the band yet, and the instrumentals carry as much weight and emotion as the vocals. Throughout the album’s playtime, you’ll find yourself asking “who hurt you?” more than a few times. The band wastes no time in striking right at you with opening track, “Hurt.” Another track that instantly caught my attention upon its release as a single was “Helpless,” which has one of the most infectious choruses I’ve heard all year. Vocalist Bradley Walden delivers some of the most powerful performances of his career, making it apparent that he deserves to be held to the same regards of some of the most renowned vocalists in the scene. The rest of the band by no means slacks in comparison, the instrumentals compliment the vocals almost effortlessly, and vice versa.
It’s been far too long that an album had an emotional impact on me such as this one has. Emarosa is by no means a heavy band, but they’ve always had this way of making up the intensity in their lyrics. “One Car Garage” is a phenomenal example of this with the message behind the lyrics focusing on the struggles of depression and suicide. They took the necessary risks in all the right ways, and definitely showcased what fans have come to expect from Emarosa after all these years. If you’re looking for an album you’re going to listen to again and again because you just can’t bring yourself to turn it off, 131 is what you’ve been searching for. Whether you’re a long time fan of Emarosa going all the way back to the Jonny Craig days or you’re a newcomer to the fanbase, you’ll find something to appreciate in this album.
by Trey Ruiz