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Promise Ring

Very Emergency

Release Date: 09.28.99
Record label: Jade Tree
Genre(s): Rock


This Milwaukee Band is all the Rage
by: jenny aicher

Very Emergency is the latest album by Milwaukee quartet The Promise Ring. This album is full of ten up-beat pop tracks sure to get your toes tapping, as you can't help but sing along.

Formed in 1995 after their respective bands disbanded, "Very Emergency" is the band's third full-length release, all of which have been on the Jade Tree label. The Promise Ring is Scott Schoenbeck, bass, Dan Dider, drums, Jason Gnewikow, guitar, and Davey von Bohlen, guitars and vocals.

Very Emergency has been called their most sophisticated pop record to date. The Promise Ring has been dubbed emo (emotional hard-core) in the past but have taken on a more pop-like sound since their second full-length release Nothing Feels so Good in 1997. But don't tell the band that they're emo.

"I would never use that term (emo). A lot of people do. It' kind of like you have to give into it,"said Promise Ring guitarist Jason Gnewikow.

Whatever sound the Promise Ring is, their upbeat melodies with simple, but easy to relate to, lyrics have made the band a quite promising indie-label act.

"Maybe I'm not in college anymore and the artsy part of me isn't working right, but I don't want to write poems right now," said von Bohlen. "I want this album to say, 'Hey, those other songs were not about girls. This is what it sounds like when they are.'"

SPIN magazine featured The Promise Ring in their "Nine for 1999" article in the Feb. 1999 issue, along with another Milwaukee-based band Citizen King. Both the NY Times and Teen People named Nothing Feels so Good as one of 1998's best.

The Promise Ring's roots lay deep within the Milwaukee circuit when they released a three-song demo which inspired a word-of-mouth following and a long list of basement shows. Now the band is touring on their "global trek" in support of Very Emergency.

The album kicks off with the upbeat tune "Happiness is all the Rage" about a man being so content with a girl in his life. The catchy lyrics make you experience the happiness felt:

"I got my mind and my body on the same page and happiness is all the rage."

After listening to "Very Emergency" you'll be destined to sing the songs all day long. This album is for anyone who is looking for an up-beat and well-worth buy. If you are a fan of Weezer, you will enjoy this band. So if you're looking for a great cd, be sure to keep Very Emergency in mind. It is definitely one of the best albums of 1999.