Review: Emo music isn’t dead in ‘Everything Nice’

Correspondent Jada Hester reviews the band Arm's Length's new album "Everything Nice." (@armslengthblues/Twitter)Correspondent Jada Hester reviews the band Arm's Length's new album "Everything Nice." (@armslengthblues/Twitter)

Jada Hester, Correspondent

Emo music and pop-punk are still alive and kicking in 2021, and Arm’s Length’s newest EP, “Everything Nice,” is a testament to the genres’ survival. This Canadian band has only been together for around two years, but you wouldn’t know it by how they sound.

You also wouldn’t know that the members – Allen Steinberg and brothers Jeremy and Jeff Whyte – are only 18 to 20 years old, born around the time the music they’re producing was popular. 

Jump back into 2002 as the EP opens with “Theme Song,” where there are only eight lines of lyrics from Steinberg, but the song is no less engaging. From there we delve into “No Sleep,” which features some screaming and lyrics about not fitting into your skin: “And you couldn’t put it better without holding your tongue / I just say I can’t remember because I don’t like who I was.”

Arm’s Length likely owes part of its success to the final track of the EP, “Garamond,” which blew up on emo TikTok. Fans appreciate the continuation of that emo sound that they haven’t heard done well since the early 2000s. 

“Garamond” is full of sentiments that one might’ve thought of as a ‘00s teen, such as “If I treat every thought like a stab in the back / I will write out my last words / I’ll save every wishbone you snapped” and “Who will die in my lifetime? / You’d rather pass in your sleep.” Along with the slide guitar, this track is perfect for digging out that old beanie and jamming in your bedroom.

Other tracks are “Gallows Humor,” “Safer Skin,” and “Eve (Household Name).” While a short album, Everything Nice has no filler tracks. Every song is intended to cut deep and click with the listener, from mental health issues to bad family dynamics. 

Arm’s Length deserves all the recent attention they’ve been getting, and the future looks favorable for the band’s further success as they develop and enhance their sound.

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