I’m sure there’s a joke to be made about Dryjacket’s debut album being titled For Posterity, given their throwback sound, but I’m neither clever nor unoriginal enough to make it. There would be truth to it though — from the pun song titles (“Spelling Era,” “Abe LinkedIn”), to the horns, to the dual vocals — everything about For Posterity feels familiar.
You can pull out hints of The Promise Ring and Piebald at every corner of the band’s pop-sensible emo, and the trumpet calls to mind American Football, of course. The band even pays tribute to their more eclectic, more technical forefathers on “Epi Pen Pals” and “Milo with an ‘H.’” This is all to say that, much like my sort of attempted joke, For Posterity isn’t all that original. It plays, generally, like a recap of the genre for anyone who might’ve missed it the first time around.
That could overshadow a lesser album, but thankfully For Posterity, despite not being groundbreaking, is still really good. The highlight is the three-song stretch from “Two Toasters” to “Abe LinkedIn.” These three songs lean heavily toward the pop-punk end of the genre, relying on bright riffs and, more than anything else, powerful hooks. If Dryjacket has only one strength, it’s writing melodies. The verses in “Two Toasters” and “Titebond IV” manage to be as catchy as the choruses, if not more so. “Abe LinkedIn” feels a fair bit darker than the rest of the album even though it’s just as memorable with the always-satisfying “whoa-oh”s (and the best chorus on the whole album). But this catchiness isn’t limited just to hooks – hell, I’ve woken up with that mathy opening riff from “Epi Pen Pals” looped in my head more days than I can count this past week.
Although Dryjacket’s upbeat emo is their forte, they do pretty well on their ballads as well. The one that opens the album, “Wicker Couch,” is one of the most fun acoustic songs I’ve heard in a long time. The band’s penchant for math rock riffs clearly knows no bounds, as even the intro song features a technical riff. They try their hand at the classic slow-burner on “Patron Without Funds,” which is a pretty song with an excellent gang vocal payoff at the end. It’s a nice blend of all the tricks the band tries out on For Posterity, in case you’re just looking for a one-song sampler.
But if you’re looking for a full album listen, For Posterity won’t disappoint. While it’s far from reinventing the genre, it’s a fun listen that showcases a young band with lots of potential, and it’s got me ready for more Dryjacket. If they grow into a sound more distinctly their own – which I think they definitely can – I can see them being a staple of the emo scene in no time. Hell, maybe someday young emo bands will get criticized for aping Dryjacket’s sound. That’s a future scenario I’d be alright with.