Various The Emo Diaries: Chapter Eleven — Taking Back What's Ours

Entitling your compilation series The Emo Diaries might have seemed like a good idea back in 1998, but it’s a little painful in 2007. Considering that Deep Elm retired the title in 2004, one can only assume that they also were a little sick of the idea. Three years later though, it looks like Deep Elm is ready to make some well-deserved "Taking Back” pot shots and release what appears to be an earnest attempt to rescue one of the most overused terms in music from Silverstein, make-up and MySpace. A quick look at the bands adorning the record’s back sleeve reveals a startling lack of expensive, vision-impeding haircuts, and despite some cringe-worthy band names (I’m Fashion, You’re Victim), most of the acts are actually pretty good. Almost every track seems to draw influence from Deep Elm’s roster, with sonic similarities to Cross My Heart, Camber and the Appleseed Cast popping up everywhere. While You Were Gone’s "Hey Lola,” a pop punk gem delivered with all the earnestness of classic Pollen, is easily the strongest selection, Panel’s passionate aping of Planes Mistaken For Stars is another stand-out. It may not be capable of doing much taking back, but this compilation still serves up some strong examples of non-Victory Records emo. (Deep Elm)