Various Artists

This Is How I Kill My Tears

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This Is How I Kill My Tears is another in Deep Elm's string of solidly built label compilations. Moving away from the volumes-deep Emo Diaries framework, the set features two songs each from the imprint's latest signees and 2004 touring artists, and is offered free of charge, barring postage. Sweden's Sounds Like Violence kicks things off strong, successfully blending post-hardcore dynamics with swirling indie rock on "You Give Me Heartattacks" and "Cry, Oh Cry!." There's some stirring if conventional passion rock from Fire Devine and Burns Out Bright before Boston's Lock and Key turn in the fabulously rough-hewn, very Pegboy-ish "Independence Game" and Desert City Soundtrack squeezes Kill My Tears' melancholic heart with piano-led indie rock that's closer to dirge than purge. Deep Elm gets international again with Bolgna, Italy's Settlefish before bringing things to close with the lush, decidedly un-emo dreamscape pop of Sweden's Surrounded. "On Top of the World" might be the best thing on This Is How I Kill My Tears, since signing a unit like Surrounded shows a willingness by Deep Elm to expand its roster's aesthetic palette.

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