Before Desperate Hours, Matt Turner and Todd Seres played together in Arizona indie-rock band FiveSpeed, of which the former is still a member. That band recalls the poppy, melodic punk rock that came to define emo in the late '90s — before it began its prolonged dive into self-parody. With Desperate Hours, Turner and Seres focus on creating melodies that have taken decided steps away from their past without abandoning their love of emotive guitar work and emotionally honest vocals. Owing a bit of an artistic debt to the understated melodicism and dynamics of Jets to Brazil and exuberant post-hardcore of Rival Schools, Desperate Hours superficially comes off far better than your average emo band, and a closer listen reveals grander musical ambitions than merely following in footsteps.
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