V/A - The Moment of Truth: The Emo Diaries Chapter 3
Deep Elm



It's interesting how sometimes the more you listen to something, the less annoying it gets. This has
certainly been the case with The Moment of Truth, Deep Elm's most recent compilation of all that is
emo.


Last week I reviewed K-Tel's cash-in compilation on emo, Nowcore! That comp had a dozen great songs by a dozen great bands. Unfortunately, they were all previously released. This week's comp is only slightly different. 15 songs, most of them previously unreleased, and all by bands virtually unproven to have lasting value. While Nowcore! will go down as a slight joke among scenesters, the songs on that album will undoubtedly be the impetus for many of our acquaintances to get involved with the music. Remember that mix tape you promised your little brother you'd make when you went away to school? Nowcore! is that tape. It's not likely that The Moment of Truth will have that lasting value, but some of these bands will undoubtedly go onto big things, and maybe even to an eventual inclusion on the inevitable Nowcore! 2.

Although this is the third volume of the Emo Diaries series, it's only the second I've heard. I owned the first one for awhile, and saved it primarily for the Jimmy Eat World and Samiam songs. Then one day I had to do laundry. Don't get me wrong, I like the rock, but I also like the clean clothes. So when I was forced to choose between the two...well, you know, 3 bucks does 2 and a half loads!

From looking at the back of this CD I couldn't tell at first which column contained the band names and which column contained the song titles. One column had things like "The Saddest Girl Story," "Biblical Proof of UFOs," and "Last Days of April." The other had such gems as "VW Keychain," "One Thousand Directinos," and "The Right Hand Rule." Which was which? Fortunately, I recognized a few of the bands on here -- Planes Mistaken For Stars, Cross My Heart, and Sweep the Leg Johnny.

Armed with the knowledge of who was playing what, I now enter into this review.

The comp gets off to a kind of weak start with Starmarket's lame alternative song. Things pick up when Planes Mistaken For Stars rock my ass. Then I realize it's an album track, and I already own the album, so I don't have any reason to like this comp yet. Penfold come on next and grace me with a nice, melodic, poppy emo song. Not at all Texas is the Reason. I like Penfold. Tell me more!

About right now I am wishing my CD player had a remote control, as the player is located across the room, and I am sick of getting up to skip tracks. Anyway, the next song is by the Saddest Girl Story. Musically, it's not abominable, but the vocals suck really bad. They sound kind of snotty, but they are often flat. Now I am into bizarre vocal stylings, screechings, whatever, but a voice that comes across as flat unintentionally just sucks. Excuse me while I walk across the room.

Next up is Cross My Heart, with a nice catchy rhythm that had me playing air guitar as I walked back. Again, the vocals don't do much for me, but I probably wouldn't leave the room if these guys were opening up for a band I liked. Sounding very much out of place is Sweep the Leg Johnny, with their usual discordant, somewhat jazzy math rock. It's not my favorite song ever, but I'll take it over the last two tracks any day!

Okay, so I'm returing to this review after like a 90 minute departure. In these 90 minutes I went to my old apartment and moved my roommate's couch to my porch. It's going to kick so much ass out there. Also, I'm on my second coffee mug of wine.

What I wanted to say, is that the first couple times I listened to this CD it seemed like at MOST there was one good song on here for every crappy song. That said, the more I listen to this, the more I enjoy the majority of it. There are crappy songs on here, but what compilation can escape that? All in all, I'd say this comp is pretty decent. I wouldn't pay retail for it, but if you can get it used for 5 bucks, pick it up. Or if you see one of the bands on here touring, and you enjoy their set, pick this up, along with the ubiquitous 7".

Oh, by the way, that Planes Mistaken For Stars CD kicks some major ass. I just put it on again. Yeah. Rock out.
...john heisel...

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