The emotional connection that can be created with a punk record is astronomically larger than any other kind of music and even now, as I am about to turn 20 years old, I can not exactly put my finger on why this is. There is obviously emotion in most music and sad lyrics abound in lots of different genres as well. But. But when the fast paced, brutal screaming about broken hearts and shattered relationships with scorching guitar and booming drums gets thrown together into a messy album that finishes in under thirty minutes, there is just a certain kind of emotional magic that is created that can never be broken.
My punk expert of a friend who loves to mine band camp, showed me Open Letters. I only listen to about half the stuff he tells me to so I can only some how think that there was some divine intervention to make me check them out. Part of their allure may of course be that I can throw a band that I can guarantee very few people have ever even heard of onto my end of the year list but I don’t think that’s truly it.
Punk and emo music can sometimes sound all the same but Open Letters takes most stereotypical sounds of the genre and then mash them, smash them and roll out a product that is a little faster than normal, a little more emotional and just a direct slap in the face with the often times brutal sound they create. Then there are tracks like “Nothing Is Alive, Nothing Is Breathing, Everything Is Dead, and Everything Is Bleeding” that instead of being quick are just heavy with guitar and they seem to drag like molasses compared to the rest of the album.
The screams get more and more vicious as the album goes on. It starts with the absolutely perfect punk whine, with a Canadian accent to boot making them sound like a much harsher version of the Arctic Monkeys (even though the band is Canadian, not British). Then on “I’m a Fucking Misogynist,” the last track, the scream gets guttural and throaty and the pace of the music reaches its crescendo. The end is clearly coming and Open Letters just opens the flood gates of liveliness and pound out the last minute of the over all 15 minute long EP.
Maybe the length is what got me to love them so much. Fifteen minutes is the perfect amount of time for a punk album and they got every single aspect they needed into that album without having to drag a single thing out. In the end though, I think this album just reached me at the absolute best time. I was just settling into Athens and all of a sudden, any time I had any frustration I could throw on this little fifteen-minute barrage of sound and feel better. My connection runs deep with this album so if not another soul in the world finds it as mind blowing as I do, then so be it.