We Do What We Want

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The plan unveiled for Emery fans is We Do What We Want will exist in two forms: its officially released form and another forthcoming acoustic version. One listen to the quartet’s latest reveals a crushing intensity never unleashed on an Emery recording before.

While previous releases certainly utilized such elements, they were never given full control. Thus, We Do What We Want is almost an overreaction to the subdued experimentation of 2007’s I’m Only A Man. The bulk of the album assaults the senses with a never-ending energy that moves from thunderous to punishing, only to finally fall out at the album’s final cuts.

For the most part, the relentless energy works well on We Do What We Want. The sheer force of “The Cheval Glass” rivals any screamo work in Emery’s history. The Foo Fighters flavor on “The Curse of Perfect Days” ramps up with a fantastic swell. “You Wanted It” wins on the lyrical end, capturing well the drama of caving in to your own will only to fall on your face: “The plans you made / You wanted it / The bitter taste / You wanted it / What God became / You wanted it / But the one thing you need you will not get.”

Meanwhile, Emery’s softer side becomes that much more welcome when it finally emerges on songs like “Fix Me” and “I Never Got to See the West Coast.” Both songs are straightforward in their structure and melody, yet they’re rather striking against such an intense backdrop. “Fix Me” becomes the better of the two tracks with its simplistic, heartfelt prayer and memorable melody.

Not everything works on We Do What We Want, and that keeps this from being any sort of masterpiece. For example, “Scissors” is a bit angular and jumpy and keeps the listener from fully settling in. The sequencing also helps accomplish the overly heavy feel, which is what the band was going for, but it also makes for a lopsided listen in a digital age. Given the aims, however, Emery has succeeded in spades in creating their best lyrical work and heaviest tracks yet.


Bert McCracken of The Used Photo by Aaron Berkshire

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