With a title that almost certainly bears reference to the band’s near self-destruction since their Seriously Groovy debut back in 2001, ‘Wish Me Dead’ _is a beautifully fragile return from Boston’s Emetrex, pulsing with an understated mid 90s cool, yet beholden of some truly huge indie-rock tunage. Opening with a jangly, spaced-out intro before the _DiS-praised single _‘Hammer in My Skull’ _,(released earlier this year) this is music that harks back to the indie of yore, swirling round a maze of hushed vocals, fuzz-beaten guitars and softly spoken lyrics that seem to speak directly to your heart.
“All my friends have gone” _sighs vocalist Rick Lescault in _‘Shepherds Pantra’, guitars twanging like the heartstrings of all the indie kids with no heroes left to love, his voice trembling with heart-splintered deprecation. It’s not clear what precisely he’s referring to but, while it’s not your typical indie-club anthem, it still encapsulates a despondent aesthetic that lies at the very core of the scene’s foundation; a feeling of dejection that appears to have been lost amongst today’s Franz Ferdinands and Futureheads but is no less uplifting to the teenage listener.
That’s not to say that this is a depressing record. Indeed the breadth of styles that fuzz and screech throughout are worthy of praise alone, from the achingly forlorn 'Resonate With Hate' _to the Roses-esque swirls of _'Hammer...' right through to the dusty, upbeat QOTSA squawl of _'Fade, Fade, Fade' _. Close your eyes during the latter's laconic chorus and for a few minutes its smoky melodies transform the drizzly evening sky into a glowing Californian desert sunset.
It's this feeling of escapism that Emetrex seem to convey only so well, executed through a style that has long been discarded at the side of the road, seeing off the likes of Stony Sleep, currently lying discarded in a pre-millenium Brit-rock wasteland. But there's something altogether more hynotic and powerful about Emetrex that keeps drawing you in and tugging at your ears until you're fully submerged in their bristling stoner-rock stomp.
Wish _them _dead? Not on the strength of this record!
8Mat Hocking's Score