01. Chorus! Chorus! Chorus!
02. Olympia is a Motherfucker
03. The Resurrectionist
06. Even Rome Had Sewers
07. The Ship Ain't Gonna Sink Itself
08. Who's Bad Party Time
09. It's Okay To Eat the Dead (Times Are Tough)
11. Lo, My Name is Abhorred
2007 Equal Vision Records
Olympia appears to be a rather accurate representation of the current status of Equal Vision as a whole. Just as the label's focus seems to be shifting away from the emo trends of the last few years, Olympia too are attempting to distance themselves from a style that has all but dried up as of late. Although Emergencies is Olympia's official debut release, the fact that three of the band's four members put in time in pop/emo rock act Fairweather undeniably leaves the band open for comparisons. And while the similarities certainly exist, Emergencies' focus on melodic rock anthems prove that Olympia is far from merely an extension of Fairweather.
There aren't a whole lot of tricks to be found over the eleven tracks of Emergencies. Olympia certainly realized their knack for writing catchy rock choruses, and this disc is chock-full of them from start to finish. The appropriately titled album opener, "Chorus! Chorus! Chorus!," is a perfect example of this trait, as the band wastes no time in immediately introducing the chorus line over a simple, but effective one-string guitar riff. As the song progresses, slightly distorted bass lines wind themselves around the well-written parts of the sole guitar, and in an enjoyable move, the entire ensemble locks into an impressively heavy groove in the track's bridge. Other numbers excel in their rock and roll execution, such as the driving intro of "Olympia is a Motherfucker" and the noisy climax of "M-80."
But beyond the straightforward highlights, Emergencies is just lacking a punch or defining characteristic to deserve extended attention. The majority of the tracks on the album follow the standard verse-chorus-bridge structure, and while the approach may be acceptable in the rock genre, the band's lack of ability to successfully escape that formula unfortunately lets the CD slip into a bit of a predictable, one-dimensional style. The effort is definitely there, as the spacious and stripped down feel of "Who's Bad Party Time" and the meandering melody of the six minute closer, "Lo, My Name is Abhorred," both display a willingness to develop the band's sound, but the end result is not nearly as rewarding as the more up-tempo tracks found on Emergencies. The catchy rock songs of this album require a few well-written, complementary tracks in order to prevent the disc from growing mundane, but that support just isn't there.
Bottom Line: For the listener seeking a few carefree rock anthems, Olympia's Emergencies might be a perfect fit. However, when eschewing their standard writing formula, the band finds little success. Ultimately, discerning listeners will be unlikely to take notice.