There are piles of emo groups out there and while some of the larger names have sort of rested on their laurels and plunked out mediocore albums, there are tons of others out there churning out work that's still full of intensity and honesty. While many may simply balk at me saying that after hearing one too many of the groups, I know that I'll always have a place in my collection for a group with catchy hooks, lyrics, and a nice punch of energy.
While My Spacecoaster has that little punch of energy and they also have catchy lyrics and tracks, they also mix things up as well. They've got the heartfelt ballads (what else would you expect with the album titled as it is?), driving pop-rock singalongs and lots of other little things thrown in to make Heartstrings a pretty darn good little album. In some ways, I'd connect it with work by The Get Up Kids or even a touch of Promise Ring, but of course most groups in the genre could probably have little traces compared to either of those groups as well. Not only that, but their songs are well constructed and the quality of the recordings is very good as well, giving the release a great sound even though it's on a super small label.
The album actually starts out with a more weepy number in the short, quiet "Please Don't Go Away." It's fairly typical in it's pining lyrics and only an acoustic guitar and plaintive vocals, but the group really steps out and rocks a bit as soon as the track is over. Perhaps a play on the vegetarianism craze and perhaps just a heartfelt song, "Hamburgers" starts out with a fast and catchy beginning before simmering down a bit for the main part of the song. After going on in this quiet and nice mode for a little while longer, the track completely busts loose at the end again and even though the chorus is, "I'd like to eat hamburgers with you on Sunday afternoon" (and even though I'm vegetarian myself), I can't help but sing along. That should say something about how good the song is.
The next two tracks ("Try To Escape" and "Flowers") are both mid-tempo numbers with jangling guitar parts with bursts of frantic energy while "Glass" rocks out pretty well again and keeps the catchy factor going. Even when the group is doing more sappy tracks like the slower, piano-touched "Self/Soul" or "Fine Days I Went By," (which is punctuated by a couple blasts of guitars and screaming vocals) they somehow manage to keep the cheese level to a minimum. It's as if they don't sound like they're trying too hard, and although they fall into some of the typical traps (really sappy lyrics and quiet/loud bursts in songs), things still come out sounding fairly fresh. They've got songs for the beginning of relationships, the possible end, and everything in-between, what more could you want?