itoldyouiwouldeatyou – ‘Oh Dearism’

By Andy Joice

Emo. It’s a dirty word amongst music fans. A sound and style that’s largely dissipated over the years, some would say for the better. There’s always been a stigma around it, despite its huge popularity in the mid-late 00’s – a house party wasn’t a house party unless someone was screaming along to Black Parade.

Looking to bring the emo genre back to prominence is London based band itoldyouiwouldeatyou. Featuring a rolling line up of seven exceptionally talented musicians, a community has built both within the band and around them. The key piece is singer/songwriter Joey Ashworth; wise beyond their years, they’re questioning outlooks that most people can only speculate on. Identity and morality. Sexuality and gender. Social and political structures and their effectiveness.

“This record is about me trying to come back into the world after a long period of hiding from it,” states Ashworth. “Remembering what I liked about living outside of my house, and what led me to hide in the first place. Striking the balance of informed naivete. To remain openhearted and uncynical whilst preparing for the worst.”

While it might sound like a heavy listen, it’s not at all. Light and airy, each track is thought provoking yet delicate. Opening with the slow-building ‘Earl, King, Whatever’, it sets the premise for the remainder of the record. Sonically satisfying, it leads with Ashworth’s tender voice before kicking into a screeching guitars leading straight into ‘Gold Rush’ melodious intro.

The first official single released from ‘Oh Dearism’, ‘Gold Rush’ is a call to arms, to support those around you and breaking cycles of indignation that might dwell within you, as Ashworth explains “It’s about choosing to fight something other than myself. The marginalised people in your life are asking you to fight with them. Join them. The world might be ending but I’d rather be side to side with those who need my support than scared in the corner’

The highlight of the album is ‘Get Terrified’, a welcome returning track from the ‘Get Terrified’ EP. Dreamy, catchy and honest, there’s a sincerity that rings from the opening bars. With an earworm of a chorus, it leaves a lasting impression that sticks with you for not only the remainder of the album, but the rest of the day. Through the quieter opening verses to the screamed closing verse, Ashworth maintains their prowess as not only a wonderful lyricist but a profound performer, who’s voice deeply resonates with the younger, millennial generation.

Closing with ‘Goodbye To All That’, Ashworth relays a fable about a rabbit and a hare who fall in love and their relationship. It’s a short form love story, both discussing the similarities between the animals and the inevitable demise. Whether it deals with Ashworth’s past experience, or is a representation of identity and knowing when to make changes, one thing is for certain – it’s a mirror of the record as a whole. Evocative, poetic and blissful.

So back to the earlier point about emo music. It may have been a long time since it had any relevance – but if any band can bring back the humanity to a genre long gone, surely it’s the emotive, intelligent and ridiculously talented itoldyouiwouldeatyou. Time can only tell.

ANDY JOICE

Three more album reviews for you

All Ears Avow - 'Skin & Bones'

LIVE: Deaf Havana / iDKHOW @ O2 Academy Brixton

LIVE: Basement / Joyce Manor @ O2 Forum, London