Philadelphia quintet’s band name advertise their home base, but a shifting
sense of place is the primary lyrical motif on their Altitude Records
debut “Emblems.” Matthew Pond’s lyrics are self-assured and self-aware,
but not painfully so. “There’s no way to the heart better than
awkwardly,” he sings in a gravelly, road-worn voice, boldly stating as
fact that which so many bands fumble to exclaim over multiple albums.
“Emblems” is an emotional road trip, humid with layers and intensity and,
with its driving melodies, easily likened to a 65 mile per hour highway
ride – or, in its quieter moments, a 25 mile per hour loop through a shady
suburb. Often haunting and complex, but always rich with accessible
meaning, “Emblems” leaves behind a lasting skidmark long after its last
notes have rolled away.