Mystery Faded

Mystery+Faded

Harper McNamara, Staff Writer

On October 28, four leaders of the underground emo music scene went head to head in a split EP titled Fatal 4 Way. The cover art depicts four masked fighters posing over a maroon background, each representative of the collaborating artists: Arcada Grey, Oolong, Guitar Fight From Fooly Cooly, and dannythestreet. The release makes perfect sense from a musical perspective but was unexpected and unannounced.

Each artist presenting two songs, Arcadia Grey shoots first with two songs. The first, titled Wildmutt, opens with abrasive rolling drums and guitar feedback which transforms and colludes do a dissonant beat-heavy and sappy anthem. It’s hard to parse exactly what each song on this album is about, but this song has heavy themes of dealing with change and nostalgia, the opening line being “I don’t even know how we got here in the first place.” This is one of my favorite tracks, it goes pretty hard but also references Ben 10 a lot which is pretty sick in my book. The next track, Braum by Arcadia Grey, discusses the artist’s general dysphoria and manages to be more instrumentally progressive than the previous track. Arcadia Gray’s use of characters and world-building in their music makes it all the more enjoyable and is a unique and fascinating spin on the traditional emo sound. The tracks are instrumentally unique and definitely some of my favorite from the artist.

The next two tracks are by Oolong who have a more math-rock sound and only have one previous release. I’ve been following Oolong for a while now because their drummer, Sam Becht, is a magnet for well-made emo projects. Their two tracks on the album demonstrate obvious growth in the band, with a tighter but more playful and developed sound. Dippin Daniel, the first track by Oolong is a pretty spectacular dissonant and pretty ballad with a skillful choppy sound. Oolong has a pretty uniquely repetitive math-rock sound that tends to orbit lots of similar chords with unique ways that demonstrated from on their second track, Guts. The song seems to constantly be changing but revolving the same ideas. I personally enjoy Guts more than Dippin Daniel, but it’s close, both tracks are great.

The next pair of songs are by Guitar Fight From Fooly Cooly, a more experimental distorted band who have also demonstrated a lot of musical development while staying true to their own sound. Their first song is a heavy progressive piece that is just as much avant-garde punk as it is emo. This track is super repetitive and very hype. The second track is much different, far more repetitive and ambient. The track is titled sea salt icecream and is Guitar Fight from FLCL’s take on their more traditional emo roots. I love both of these tracks, they’re my favorite off the release and I’m excited to hear what comes next from this band.

I had never heard of dannythestreet before this release but I’m very impressed with the final two tracks of the EP. This band has a tight, vibe-heavy and cheeky sound that is pretty common in underground emo music but is rarely executed so well. Mystery Faded is the shortest track on the album and is rhythmically and melodically very unique. This track is personally the least compelling for me on the album, but regardless I appreciate and find myself going back to it often. The final track Letterboxd, named after the film-based social media service, is what did this band for me. Letterboxd is a very pretty ambient but heavier track, Similar to something you might hear from a band like Origami Angel. I really like this one and it’s a really great closer for the album.

Overall, I’d really recommend this EP to anyone who likes or is interested in getting into Emo music. It’s a really great release with really good vibes that I rate pretty high, I’d encourage people to check it out.