Mush – Protect Your Brand

The late 90s and early 00s saw the rise of a little label called Vagrant that churned out band after band and release after release of tuneful, essentially, power pop that took elements of emo, punk, and guitar-driven pop, mixing them together in a way that proved irresistible to many a sensitive punk who wanted something else to latch onto. Somewhere in the territory between “easycore” and Get Up Kids-style emo, the label launched careers for bands who arguably deserved a little longer in the spotlight than they received. By the time a second wave of soundalike bands emerged, the public’s appetite for such had largely subsided or moved on as did a number of the progenitors of it.
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La Dispute – Rooms of the House

La Dispute's specific brand of post-hardcore is one that is deeply rooted in pain, longing, melancholy, and the angst of youth, a trait shared by their few contemporaries, Pianos Become the Teeth being the closest in theme and style. Weaving together a collection of interconnected stories very much tied in the band's home state of Michigan, Rooms of the House sees the band expanding on the formula they perfected on their previous endeavor Wildlife. Over the course of it's runtime, lead vocalist Jordan Dreyer weaves a series of symbolic, cryptic stories that are stark, beautiful, and often sad. This is a band that has always had a way with words, and while other elements of their sound are often polarizing among listeners, no one can deny their lyricism is anything less than superb.