Guerrilla Monsoon – Big City Plans

Emotional hardcore – emo – didn’t begin and end with teenage boys in eye makeup and skinny black jeans. Actually, it never did. Back in the mists of the 90s a whole movement of intelligent and reflective hardcore punk kids took the Dischord Records sound – Fugazi and all that malarkey – and did interesting, life-affirming things with it. The Get Up Kids and Texas is the Reason to name but two. And then for various reasons it all went Good Charlotte and it was kind of best forgotten.

Over the past couple of years there’s been a rediscovery of the 90s emo sound over on the other side of the Pond – US bands like Signals Midwest, You Blew It!, Dikembe and friends have been coming over the Atlantic thick and fast, with their guitars and winsome little musical vignettes. To be honest, though – whilst there’s no doubting the sincerity and the warmth of this “new wave of emo” – few of these newer acts move the game on far enough to hold more than a passing interest. But here is where this smart-looking 10” EP comes in.

Representing Birmingham and my own North Worcestershire, Guerrilla Monsoon do that rarest of things: Take a long established style – emo – and transmute it into something fresh and distinct once again. And also into something utterly fucking charming. What you get in this little package are eight perfectly distilled and delivered stories of proudly provincial heart, mind and soul. Eight tracks that never even come close to overstaying their welcome – average track length being exactly two and a half minutes – and that, still hang around, affirming your goddam life for a long time after. If there is any justice in this cold world, and if this term still has meaning – these boys deserve to make it. And make it… big.

– D B Schenker

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