With the vast number of new emo bands emerging and causing a buzz everywhere they go, it must be difficult for the scene’s elder statesmen to play catch-up. No recent album has typified that idea as much as Look Mexico’s ‘Uniola’, an album that, while fundamentally fine, suffers from the problem of just not being all that interesting.
To be fair, they work well with the limitations they’ve got. There’s only so many ways to do this sort of mathy indie-emo, and as repetitive as it becomes, Look Mexico are consistently solid. But it almost feels as though they realize how profoundly dull this album becomes, given that the feature that stands out most is the absurdly long song titles (seriously, some of these would’ve made Fall Out Boy in their heyday blush).
It doesn’t help that everything is so subdued that it’s difficult to latch onto anything that could even resemble a hook. Tracks like ‘Ice? Yeah, You Could Chisel Some Off Your Heart, If You Could Find It.’ (see what we mean about the titles?) just kind of float by passively with nothing really to differentiate each track from one another. And at eleven tracks of this, it rapidly becomes a chore to get through.
There really isn’t that much more to be said about this album. ‘Uniola’ is by no means awful, but just has a severe lack of good qualities. At least the likes of Modern Baseball and The Hotelier have some tangibly present qualities; Look Mexico just feel ethereal, and not in a good way. And while there is a place for this sort of thing with the ever-straining emo bracket, it at least has to be done better than this. Still, if bands like Foxing can get by with a more expansive form of emo, there’s definitely somewhere that Look Mexico can be represented. For now though, the jury’s out whether this is a cult classic or just another one for the shovelware pile.
‘Uniola’ by Look Mexico is released on 24th June on Tiny Engines.
Words by Luke Nuttall(@nuttall_luke)