Various Artists

Nowcore! The Punk Rock Evolution

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Some people call it emo (as in "emotional hardcore"), some people just call it punk. In any case, it's a clear step away from the rage-and-angst-based hardcore punk of the past; undifferentiated roar and one-minute songs have been replaced by melodies, more adventurous song structures, and lyrics that the groups actually want you to understand. What has remained is the general aggressiveness, even if it's significantly reduced in many cases. The result is uneven, but mostly worth hearing. Samiam hits the spot just right with "She Found You," and the Promise Ring's "Why Did Ever We Meet,," despite the college-placement English class syntax of its title, is a charming piece of romantic pop-punk. On the other hand, it's hard to keep your attention focused on "Wheaton Calling" by Burning Airlines, and Braid doesn't exactly seem to be saying much with "New Nathan Detroits" (get it, high school musical alumni?). This is a good overview, but it may or may not convince most listeners that they need to seek out more of this kind of thing.

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