For a long time now, we’ve seen traditional emo and punk criss cross lines where they’re essentially the same thing. Few bands can meld the two together where you can tell the difference, though Houston’s Groundhog Day seem to have figured out how to do just that. On their debut full length, The Worst It’s Ever Been, they rise up from the ashes of two former bands and emerge with a searing release that hits as hard emotionally as it does intensely.
The opening track, “Lost” doesn’t feel like its title, though the terse track definitely has plenty of snap and drive within its notes. The guitar has an energy that’s hard to describe while the vocals sound like they’re holding in plenty of painful years. There’s a pierced note to how the drums stay tight but also have a nice loose sound like no one else. “Blood Moon” finds a way to sound sad but still have the energy such songs need to contain. There’s a build on the song that when it hits, it’s like the pain of a breakup between the youth.
There’s darkness on the record, like an inner sadness that’s been waiting to be unleashed. But with that said, the magical elements here are on the snappy paced songs. While “Alone” is essentially a sad track, there’s a pent up energy that slowly releases and hits with the same intensity of a dark punk band. Even the album’s closer “The Worst It’s Ever Been” is quick and speedy, but that sadness remains just a hair or two underneath. For a band that’s coming into emo this late after it all started, Groundhog Day has figured out not only how to encapsulate where the genre began, but how to hold the energy behind it as well.
You can Stream The Worst It’s Ever Been on all streaming sites, you can purchase it in all digital shops including Bandcamp, and you can also pick it up on cassette from Miss Champagne Records. Groundhog Day will be on tour beginning January 31 in San Antonio, Texas at El Luchador until February 14 in Bryan, Texas at Revolution Cafe. A complete listing of their tour dates can be accessed here.
Image Credits: Photo by Jonathan Mazaltov.