Jail Socks: Coming Down (Counter Intuitive) - review | Under The Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Friday, December 3rd, 2021  

Jail Socks

Coming Down

Counter Intuitive

Sep 13, 2021 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

If you’re tuned into the emo scene you may well have heard the buzz behind the Charlotte, North Carolina-based band Jail Socks. The band first made waves in 2018 with their debut EP, No Promises, and then followed quickly with their 2019 EP It’s Not Forever. Those two years already showed a band growing by leaps and bounds. The riffs got tighter, the hooks catchier, and their energy was undeniable. Coming Down, the band’s debut album and their first for Counter Intuitive, only continues the trend with what is easily Jail Socks’ most potent set of songs yet.

Though Coming Down stays solidly circumscribed to the world of emo, the band clearly knows the genre inside and out. Twinkling emo riffs obviously make an appearance, bolstering the winding tempo changes and yearning lyrics on one of the record’s highlights, “Point Pleasant.” But the band proves equally adept at incorporating some ferocious post hardcore vocals, upbeat, crowd-pleasing pop punk hooks, and a stripped-back acoustic ballad. Above all, they’ve mastered the art of an infectious chorus. The record’s singles, “Sick Weather” and “Peace of Mind” bring characteristically compelling high points, but album cuts like “Caving In,” “Spinning,” and “On the Run” are equally sure to cycle through your head for days on end.

Despite the largely upbeat instrumentation, lyrically, the record feels like the titular come down, reflecting on mental illness, fractured relationships, feeling stuck, and all of the other touchstones of emo and pop punk. The band’s diaristic lyrics bring real cathartic weight to these tracks, making for shout-along anthems with the record’s upbeat moments and harrowing lyrical lacerations on the record’s downbeat ballads. The rare moments when the record’s irrepressible pace slows allow the stellar songwriting behind the band to take center stage, as with the acoustic confessions of “More Than This”一This isn’t living anymore/This is floating in uncertainty/A vacuous mediocrity/A hope that no one else will see/What I, alone, have done to me.”

The band may not reinvent these formulas, but they reproduce them with a steadfast attention to the genre’s greats and synthesize them with enough of their own creative spirit to make the results feel fresh. The band’s already impressive melodic sensibilities and upbeat instrumentals gained them fans with their EPs, and their debut only builds on that foundation, making for an even more immediate and accessible work. As much as it feels like their songwriting has leveled up, the record also greatly benefits from Brett Romnes (I Am The Avalanche, Hot Mulligan, Heart Attack Man) on production, getting the band a cleaner, tighter, and more propulsive sound.

Coming Down is far above anything else the trio has done yet, anchoring the band in irresistible hooks, thoughtful songwriting, and a sharp encapsulation of the past 20 years of emo and pop punk. The resulting record should appeal both to the genre’s new guard and to its longtime defenders. Simply put, Jail Socks kill it on their debut, putting themselves in the running for the most outright catchy emo record this year. (www.counterintuitiverecords.com)

Author rating: 7.5/10

Rate this album
Average reader rating: 8/10


Submit your comment

Name Required

Email Required, will not be published


Remember my personal information
Notify me of follow-up comments?

Please enter the word you see in the image below:

There are no comments for this entry yet.