Saturday, October 12, 2013

Keep It Together Records will quench your thirst for international emo

Posted By on 10.12.13 at 10:02 AM

Given my well-established love of emo, I like to keep tabs on a handful of small DIY labels that have proven their merit by dropping some fascinating fourth-wave emo albums. Chief among the microlabels is one called Keep It Together Records, which is based in Elkhorn, Wisconsin, a small town a couple hours from Chicago. Primarily focused on cassette releases, Keep It Together has done a decent job of putting out music by new emo acts that are just getting started. It's also rereleased tape versions of emo albums by a handful of well-established underground acts, including Empire! Empire! (I Was a Lonely Estate), Joie de Vivre, and Football, etc. I've admired Keep It Together in part because it's dropped some interesting international emo, and today the label caught my eye with The Present, a newish album from a Japanese three-piece called SZKN (which is apparently short for the name Sizukani Hisomu Hibi). SZKN released The Present in Japan back in April, and Keep It Together released the U.S. version last month. I've only been able to give it a cursory listen so far, but the band hooked me with "Break the Wall," which has a rollicking guitar riff that sounds like it was recorded using a tin-can amplifier. Stream The Present below, and if you like what you hear, grab the tape from Keep It Together.

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