The Promise Ring

Emo’s been around since Echo & the Bunnymen. Somewhere, it took a wrong turn. The music stayed somewhat interesting, but why do all the vocalists sound like they’re getting their nose hairs pulled out? Blame it on those Idaho bands and their bandwagon-jumping spud buddies. Because vocalist Davey VonBohlen can actually sing half of the time, the Promise Ring could be called one of the premier emo bands. Wood/Water is slightly intriguing, loaded with odd instruments and arrangements reminiscent of mid-period Walkabouts, with a dash of Stereolab vaguely thrown in. “Suffer Never,” “Become One Anything One Time” and “Half Year Sun” may be outstanding songs, but the bulk of this disc is as predictable as a Rob Zombie album. If the Promise Ring wants to know how it’s done, it should listen to some old Aztec Camera, Lloyd Cole and the Commotions and the Go-Betweens before recording its next album.