The Emerald Down
Scream The Sound
Saint Marie Records
Here’s what we had to say about The Emerald Down’s sole album, Scream The Sound, which came out in 2001. Rereading that review as I listen to the new reissue of it, I’m satisfied I got it right the first time around, so here’s that review, taken from my zine, Lois Is My Queen:
Scream The Sound is the debut album by The Emerald Down and is the sound of a faceless group of Columbus musicians diving into pure noise and aural intoxication, with zero apologies for doing so. (It’s no insult to say this is faceless; if you want recognition, the last thing you’d want to do is bury your singing underneath loud—and beautifully loud—sheets of noise.) Shoegazing is a bit cliche in 2001; done to death, who really needs the next My Bloody Valentine, when My Bloody Valentine did it so perfectly the first time around? But I bought this from Clairecords knowing damn well what I was getting without hearing it first, and that’s what makes this debut album so great. Sure, the guitars jangle a bit too Robin Guthrie-like on “His Sight Shiny Like Chrome” and “Red Shift,” but it’s when they break away from the formula that they show real promise; I love the driving melody of modern-rock minded “Perilized,” “Caught A Wave” is a delightful and trippy epic rocker, while “A Minor Crush” would have made a perfect Projekt single five years ago. There’s plenty of promise on display here, even if occasionally I wish they’d do some editing—there are some really great four minute songs hidden in the six and seven minute songs. Still, this is a debut album, and a promising one at that. Can’t wait to hear what these folk do next time around; it will be interesting to see how they mature between now and then.
It’s 2016, and looking back, they would release but one more record, an EP entitled Aquarium, which was indeed a more mature sound along the lines of what I hoped for—and said as much. This reissue—now in an era where shoegazing/dream pop/blisspop is not only critically and culturally respected but is also commercially viable—highlights and returns to the world what is definitely a lost jewel from the wilderness era of the genre.