Sight & Sound

Revisiting Emo: This Afternoon’s If We Gave Up Now

afterSometime in 2002, I received This Afternoon’s third full length, If We Gave Up Now, from now defunct label Emplane. Revisiting this release some 11 years later, it’s interesting to revisit my initial thoughts on the record when I wrote the review of it (back in 2002).

Here’s how I initially described the band; “mid to late 90s almost Midwestern indie rock influenced punk. There are catchy hooks, heartfelt vocalizations with a distinct mid tempo rock feel. You can compare them to the likes of Texas is the Reason, the Enkindels and maybe some early Elliott.”

It’s a pretty accurate description upon re-listening to the release. I do however, have to note that while I originally said that some of the longer song lengths tend to feel like “four hours of driving through Kansas,” their effect today is a little less draining. Almost as if a four hour drive through Kansas really isn’t that bad. Maybe it’s just the decade in between, but I seem to appreciate the slower build up, the more languid song structures, and the less than urgent demeanor in which the music unfolds- much more than I did back in 2002. Texas is the Reason is probably the closest recognized sound This Afternoon emulates, and while the paced approach to songwriting may not appeal to every post-hardcore enthusiast, If We Gave Up Now may just surprise a few.

It just takes a little time. Have a listen:

“Made By Make Believe”
Made By Make Believe

“Stop-Sign Racing”
Stop Sign Racing