The Mobius Trip
Format Reviewed: CD
Even after countless listens, I still can't figure out what to make of Millimeters Mercury. Make no mistake, this conundrum has nothing to do with their music; as The Mobius Trip shows, the band are straight-up emo, with nothing beyond the usual hallmarks of the genre: nasal singers, melodic guitar lines, lyrics about girls (and lack thereof).
It's their bald-faced employment of the genre's hallmarks that gives me pause. Millimeters Mercury have only been in existence for a few months (according to their bio) -- but on their debut EP, they show all the maturity and complexity of emo veterans, sounding very much like the Get-Up Kids or the Promise Ring. I'm not sure what this means.
On one hand, it may simply indicate that emo is easy to master, and the legions of sub-par emo kids who litter clubs and concert halls across North America are merely inept (This is probably true regardless of your other conclusions -- Ed.). The other explanation -- the one toward which I lean -- is that Millimeters Mercury are simply a very impressive young band. If they can continue to progress, and don't stagnate at their current level, they could go on to do big things. There are definitely times where they allow themselves to be overwhelmed by the genre's conventions (such as the horribly nasal singing at the beginning of "Permanent Marker"), but such moments are easily surpassed by songs like "Half Written and "By The Way", in which the band sounds lovable, a feat few whiny emo boys ever achieve. If The Mobius Trip is a portent of things to come for the band, it won't be the first time Millimeters Mercury do something few other emo bands can. -- Matthew Pollesel