Griswold, Beach Party, Hemingway

When: Sun., April 27, 8 p.m. 2014


It's unusual that a band comes out of virtually nowhere and drops an impeccable LP, but local emo upstarts Hemingway—perhaps the most archetypically perfect name for an emo band—have done just that with their debut, Pretend to Care. The group has managed to mine the best aspects of early Weezer and Dear You-era Jawbreaker while cultivating an entirely unique identity. Nonetheless, first track "Constellations" may as well be a crash course in crunchy, well-constructed, heartfelt power-pop, and the crude, teenage-like verse is often as unflinchingly vulnerable and affecting as that of their idol Blake Schwarzenbach. Pretend to Care is also one of the best-sounding rock records to come out of Portland in years, probably because it wasn't recorded in Portland (the group recorded with preeminent punk producer Jack Shirley at his Bay Area studio, the Atomic Garden—he gets it). MORGAN TROPER

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