Various Artists

Emo Diaries, Vol. 8: My Very Last Breath

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The eighth volume of Deep Elm's Emo Diaries series features a dozen unreleased goodies that are sure to please emocore enthusiasts everywhere. What's refreshing about these collections is that they're not promotional label samplers, but honest to goodness compilations of the best and brightest of the genre, regardless of label affiliation. And the fact that all the tunes are otherwise unavailable makes the disc genuinely collectible. Highlights include the wonderfully punishing opener "Superstud" from Sweden's Kelly 8 (whose female singer has an arresting, Gwen Stefani-styled voice), the Solo Project's metallic "Dreams Like Knives," and the gentle, loping "Guided Tour of a Dead Man's House," courtesy of Logh. Some of the selections sound like rote genre exercises, but overall the strong moments outnumber the weak ones.

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