The nostalgia dragon of the early 2000s still reigns supreme. We no longer don our skinny jeans, cut our hair around in ridiculous directions with an ungodly amount of product (likely because most of us are going ridiculously bald, cough), or scream at our parents about how this isn’t just a phase. We scene kids of days lost have proved our ability to stand the test of time whilst growing up in our fucked up little way. Such is very much the case for emo/pop-punk outfit Nights like Thieves out of Whale’s Vagina, CA with their latest EP The Forgotten. Yes, San Diego, I’m still ripping off Will Ferrell and proudly.
My fucking lord, what a melting pot these cats are. Nights Like Thieves bring together flavours from all over the emo spectrum that have you staring longingly at your old fingerless gloves and that monstrous pile of plastic bracelets you used to rock for no logical reason whatsoever. Slinging the angst of bands like From First to Last, the ambiance of Circa Survive, the odd yet addictive attempt at technicality, reminiscent of acts like Strung Out, and the sheer emotional rollercoaster of anthemics we know and love from bands Taking Back Sunday.
Now, it could be easy for one to assume this is just an overly influenced cum dumpster, and if you don’t enjoy the emo genre, you might be entirely right, but for an admitted enthusiast like myself (said fearlessly against any possible claim of bias), this kind of music doesn’t always need to be unique, but it does need to be fun and bath salts level addictive, which I can safely say the five emotionally dripping tracks of The Forgotten damn near succeed flawlessly.
After countlessly consuming this record, I’m left with questions and certainties. I’m certain that a lot of heart, enjoyment, and pure desire of perfection went into putting these tracks together. I’m also curious as to how much fucking money was spent on recording them. As far as emo tunes go, the recording quality here is spot on, including the absolute nightmare of vocal layering it typically takes to make such angstful pitches sound full. However, this isn’t the only pretty penny I imagine was dropped here as this dirty little wrist slitter is also chock-full of what the 2000’s are best known for, collaborations. It’s no small feat to make a pundit go “aww I remember them,” but somehow NLT dug fucking deep for their third banger on this effort; “Old New Song,” featuring Scott Sellers of fucking Rufio. Cheap shot at my very young heart here dudes.
Where this album contains pure sadboi lifeblood, including anthemic highschool jams like “Alright” (The only song with no guest feature), and groovy tear jerker “The Forgotten,” my only qualm with this short and sweet compilation is opening track “Magic Eyes” (featuring Sonny Sandoval of P.O.D because why the fuck not). Every track on this record is unique and enjoyable in it’s own right, however “Magic Eyes” almost feels too left of field, and introduces the effort in a fashion almost too inconsistent to the rest of it’s guts. Is that to say the song itself isn’t good? No, but it is to say that it feels like a bone left in a stew found on first bite. Sure it adds to flavor, but I’m busy crying over here and I DON’T WANT YOUR FUCKING STEW MOM.
Written by Jason Greenberg
*Edited by Dominic Abate