Gatsby's American Dream Ribbons & Sugar

Emo may have a chance after all. Thanks to bands like Gatsby’s American Dream, the fast-stagnating genre may be able to pull through with something new and fresh. Your favourite elements are all here — high vocals, distorted guitars, driving drum parts, etc. — but unlike most of the tripe that’s ruining the emo name, this record is smart and actually strives to be something beyond a Simple Plan cookie cut-out. The songs are complicated, the musicians talented and the ideas much more developed than your average diary-writing boy band. The thing that disappoints most about this record though is the lyrics. Considering Ribbons & Sugar is supposed to be a concept album based loosely around George Orwell’s brilliant Animal Farm, it would have been nice to hear lyrics that extend further than basic commentary on such a weighty subject. But if you ignore what he’s saying and have the ability to stomach a traditional emo vocalist (who lists his vocal coach in the liner notes), GAD are better than most of the emo bands you’re listening to right now. This record probably won’t change any lives but it should give a wake-up call to the rest of the emo world to regain the momentum it had before it went stale. (Rocketstar)