Truly, if anything could be said about Braid and their influence on the world of Emo music it could be said that it added a much-needed darker element to the often-weepy genre of poppy rock music. Most if not all songs put out by a band in the genre would linger endlessly on the loss of a girlfriend or a significant other and the torment caused by such a tragedy. Sob songs of remorse and betrayal litter the battlefield of this openly criticized and underground subculture of music.
Then Bob Nanna came along, and with him he brought the torrent of change and the gift of influence. Soulful and depressed bands such as the Get Up Kids or Sunny Day Real Estate would describe the morning of a breakup with a longtime relationship, Braid on the other hand would describe the revenge and disgust to be had from it.
It was a shock, a kick and it was a darker presentation of Emo with a sharp tinge of edge to it, which often brought as many critics as it did supporters. No acoustics or simple vocal solo songs could be found in their work, which was simply a barrage of sounds and hardcore rock music which linked into each different note of music and clashed with each lyric or spoken vocal. Now, in the wake of the breakup of Braid we have many numerous artists, each with changed opinions and styles of performing because of Braid's work in the Emo world. Saves the Day itself often describes violent and hasty actions to the hurtful emotions felt from everyday life, while Reggie and the Full Effect has a sarcastic and mocking lyrical style. All of this is the result from the changes that were brought about.
Now after a few years without Braid and without the work of Bob Nanna him and his friends return with a new group and a new style of music built upon their older progress in the genre. Hey Mercedes is the offspring of the many years of development and lack of the original superstars of Emo, and its debut album "Everynight Fire Works" is well worth the wait. Consider that even though the style of music behind the artists has changed dramatically, the outcome remains to be the same. It's not as edgy a group as Braid once was; however, Hey Mercedes offers many defining moments in this CD. Brilliant guitar work and sequenced drums blend together to express an array of emotions from anger, to hatred to surprise to sarcasm to plain and simple contempt with a weaving growth and persistence of happiness. Each song is in itself a single entity of composed mastery, never straying from the centered angular guitar work or the buzzing background hum of the combined instruments, always pushing forward the result of a new story or a new predicament. And yet, even though this is an Emo CD it stands as perhaps the most refreshing and constantly listenable piece of work since "Through Being Cool" by Saves the Day. It never drags you down or locks you away in a whirlpool of needless and overwhelming emotions; it picks you up and cues forth-uplifting songs. And through each track, through each lyric, through each guitar plucking you feel just a bit more devious, a bit more daring. This isn't a CD for the coffee shop or rainy day contemplation, this is rock, and this is the action that results from a problem.
Pick it up, you'll never regret it.