Working the front desk here at the Caldwell Public Library is the best way to find something new to read. Rarely do I have to go out of my way to find my next book, it simply comes back in our book drops, arrives through our courier, or appears on a cart I'm organizing. And that's exactly how I discovered Where are your boys tonight? : the oral history of emo's mainstream explosion 1999-2008. If you're familiar with any of my previous Freegal posts, you'll understand the immediate appeal this book had for me. But if this is your first-time hearing about the library's free music streaming service Freegal, you can learn more about it here. And if you don't have the privilege of processing thousands of returned library books every week, check out some of our tips and tricks for finding the perfect book for you or your family.
I highly recommend "Where are your boys tonight?" for anyone interested in music history, the emo scene, or for fans of bands like Fallout Boy, My Chemical Romance, The Used, or Panic at the Disco. The book is loaded with great stories, backgrounds, and insight into the personal and professional lives of some of the scenes most well-known and obscure acts. A word of warning though, this is an oral history which means there are a ton of names to keep track of. Which finally brings us to today's Freegal album review.
Overanalyzing the Manifestations of the Unconscious is a 1998 EP from the band Humble Beginnings. The band was a staple of emerging emo scene on the East coast with many of its members going on to bigger projects as the style exploded in popularity. The band had a lot of small releasees from local labels but never broke out to a national audience. However, this EP did get a small re-release in 2018.
Overanalyzing the Manifestations of the Unconscious is the most polished and poppy of the band's output, with tight production and solid song writing. Primarily a pop-punk affair, the EP has all the subtle flavor of the New Jersey and Long Island emo scene baked in. A little more rhythmic, danceable, and groovy, this EP really highlights the elements that made the scene unique. Breakdown beats with gang vocals, thick guitars, and skate punk speed are the core of the band's sound. There's not a bad song on the EP's slim 6 tracks. Highlights include the outro on "Three Thirty Four", and the epic chorus on the final track "Faith98".
"Where are your boys tonight" introduced me to some really interesting and foundational groups. I was blasting Humble Beginnings and a few other bands featured in the book constantly while reading. So, if you're curious like I was about the origins of emo's most popular phase, check out both "Where are your boys tonight" and this great EP.