Black Maria Lead Us to Reason

Amongst the sea of mediocre releases from Victory Records in the past year, the Black Maria prove all is not lost for melodic emo. Despite the fact that the band features former Grade lead vocalist Kyle Bishop, don’t expect a re-hashed version of Headfirst Straight to Hell. Piano, lush vocals and clean guitars make up the basis of Lead Us to Reason. The Black Maria is less trendy than most of the emo on the market these days (safe for a couple cheesy "I Hate You” screams in "The Momento,” an otherwise great song.) Straight forward melodies and noisiness reminiscent of emo bands from the ’90s make the Black Maria stand out. (Victory)