Places to Park

Better Sights Were Set

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The robotic precision and heavy guitars of Places to Park might make it seem more like a metal band than an emo rock foursome. But Better Sights Were Set is a hook-drenched debut offering 11 catchy and aggressive songs that are perfect fits into the genre. Using shimmering guitars to accentuate the vocal melodies, the group most often brings to mind classic Hüsker Dü. Places to Park may not write the same kind of songs, but the band channels the same kind of blustery urgency that the Minnesota trio mastered in the '80s. This is emo with its heart on its sleeve, offering a portrait of a pained and melancholy life disguised by huge guitars and energetic performances. While many artists in the genre rely on similar tactics to achieve their sound, the band really nails the element that makes this music work: variety. Tempo changes, bizarre production techniques, anthemic choruses, ringing guitars -- none of these elements are overused and their presence in the songwriting comes as a nice surprise in almost every case. There are more groundbreaking releases in the genre, but for a pure cathartic visit into the mind of an unhappy twenty-something, you would have a hard time finding a better example than Better Sights Were Set.

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