Bands inspired by and trying to create emo seem to go two ways, Our Nameless Boy are a band who have chosen correctly. Rather than trying to replicate the joyous chart ‘emo’ this is a band who understand the emotional side of the genre and push it much further in the direction of post hardcore. In fact this is a band who have as much in common with Blakfish as they do with My Chemical Romance.
There is an awful lot to take in within this five track EP, from the very first moments as rolling drums and rumbling bass combine there is a curve-ball as an angular guitar line takes sole focus. This guitar then fades to melody as a gentle vocal ensures the emotion remains high, the knife edge combination of delicate and infectious musicianship is stunning especially with each moment it seems to feed in to the vocal. The vocals on this record are accomplished and move between the gentlest whispers of emotion, building strength and the occasional shouts all the time taken further with emotive cracks. This vocal range feels like it can go anywhere and often does, the oxymoronic ‘Once an Island’ combines the delicacy of Owen with the venom of Bastions.
These vocals are essential to the cathartic lyrics which at times extenuate the honesty with a sense of confusion, there is a feeling as each song end of a shared experience. Despite the honest and often raw emotion these are songs that have a natural sense of building, ‘Nothing on my Mind’ starts with an almost conversational style before the emotion gently builds. This post hardcore style building musicianship and the way vocals seem to continually build in strength are thematic throughout and make this entire EP tick. There is something about an entire EP that flows and develops on similar themes that is truly comforting, this composition uses themes like the rolling drums or very specific guitar sounds to create an almost entire range of emotion. The moment of stunning clarity created by ‘Nover’ creates a positive finale both lyrically and musically. There is a sense of beautiful relief as gentle guitars trickle ahead of quiet drums before one final hurrah as a chorus reprise builds an breaks a wall of sound abruptly closing out a great EP.
Throughout this is a collection of songs that take influence from the Midwest Emo of Braid and Mineral and combine it with the unmistakable British rock of Hell is For Heroes and Funeral for a Friend. Once the musicianship takes this in the direction of Mimas, Meet Me in St Louis and Algernon Cadwallader this feels like a sound that could be continually pushed in almost any direction. Maybe this is the start of something? If this is what the progression of British Emo sounds like Our Nameless Boy will be the forefront of a wonderful scene or they should be anyway.