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April 13, 2024

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The Promise Ring
Wood/Water (Anti)

By: Alex Steininger

Emo stars The Promise Ring leave Jade Tree for Epitaph's Anti label, and in the process create the most non-emo, soaring pop of the year. Wood/Water finds the band creating lush, melodically rich pop music that favors the hook over heart string pulling vocals and heart wrenching lyrics.

Mesmerizing and engaging, The Promise Ring has come out with their strongest release to date, a flavorful, gorgeous record that shines with every passing note. From the slight garage-rock, ample pop of "Size Of Your Life", the song that starts the album, through the laid-back power of "Stop Playing Guitar", they get your attention without even asking for it.

"Wake Up April" glazes over you with its relaxed vibe, as the drums lightly tap and the guitars add a gentle breeze. The vocals walk through the song, soft and firm, giving you a peaceful feeling of easiness and complete serenity, without compromising their rock principles.

But this album is not all calm guitars and dream-inducing melodies. "Get On The Floor" is a simmering delight, while "Suffer Never" has you swimming in the upbeat, bouncy rhythms and sparkling melody.

If this is the shape of emo to come, I love it. The Promise Ring has broken all stereotypes, delivering a well written, waterproof collection of beauty and entertainment, a combination that is hard to attempt, let alone pull off. I'll give this an A.

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