Playing emo music in 2014 has to be kind of hard. The market is flooded. There are a million bands playing every conceivable variation of the genre that exists. This is both a blessing and a curse for new bands. On the plus side, it is easy to just jump in and get carried away in the stream. In opposition, it is also a distinct possibility that no one will hear/give a shit about your band. It is in this atmosphere that Serpents are releasing their debut EP, Everything I’ve Had, I’ve Lost.
Serpents are a band that plays melodic emo (with tiny touches of alternative). They are pretty adept at it too. All seven songs on this EP have enough energy to work. The music, though a bit disjointed, adds a fair amount of texture. The vocals are very much of the hardcore family. Yelled, strained, and with some breaks here and there. The music is decidedly not hardcore. It, for the most part, plays more calm and even. It works pretty well, but it does have some issues.
The biggest issue is that the record, for as good as it is, doesn’t sound very good. The production, in my opinion, is a little wanting. The guitar gets lost in the mix and the drums sound flat. This record would have benefitted greatly from some beefed up production. I mean, the vocals are there. Serpents need to let the music have a similar sense of muscle and aggression.
This isn’t to say that they should go full screamo band or whatever. Their current style is great. They just need to tighten it up, and get production that does it justice. Serpents is a band with a lot of promise. They have a lot of raw potential. Everything I’ve Had, I’ve Lost is definitely rough around the edges, but all the pieces are there.