Clouds roll in, heralding a storm. Not Tonight Josephine have, at last, got their act together and it’s time to hear their thunder.
The Florida outfit’s self-titled EP, produced in collaboration with From First To Last’s Taylor Larson, comes as a testament to their colossal progress over their seven year development. A unique combination of early ‘00s emo refrains and metalcore-infused swaying melodies, ‘Not Tonight Josephine’ showcases everything that fell short of their last EP ‘Common Gold’ due to last-minute line-up changes. Now, with a solid vocalist and a cracking guitarist, they can weigh anchor and push forward in the right direction.
The rather inconsequential atmospheric ‘;)’ builds tension for the succeeding ‘Reemerge’, energised, driven and heartbreaking in equal measure. Defiant cleans create beautiful chaos with heartfelt screams as vocalist Danny cries “you’re gonna miss me when I’m gone”. Reprimands aplenty, this record is not for the weak of heart.
“You dug your own grave,” barks Danny Garry on ‘Nothing To Show’, spitting venom at lightning speed as the borders between post-hardcore and metalcore blur significantly. Brandishing razor-sharp guitar work and destroying drums against mind-blowing breakdowns, this EP is an astounding improvement on their composition. Not only that, but vocalist Danny Garry has undoubtedly found his feet since ‘Common Gold’, a completely tight performance graces this self-titled effort and proves there’s plenty more where that came from.
Man of the moment Spencer Sotelo of Periphery and new From First To Last, adds a further dimension of emotional clarity to ‘Eyes’. In a punchy tirade against becoming blind to the damage of deception, make no mistake – Not Tonight Josephine have a mission statement, and they’re conveying it with ease.
Regaining a relaxed heartbeat with ‘Don’t Hold Your Tongue’, the band’s diversity shimmers through the subdued heartfelt plea to change your mind. “There’s nothing you should hide from me,” Danny pleads, laying the lineup bare, particularly aiming the spotlight at drummer Christian Turt whose artistry shines from start to finish.
The relatable anguish of ‘Barefaced’ creates a melodic sway reminiscent of Memphis May Fire. Refusing to seek help from the faceless, the building pressure of strained wails against phenomenal drums and relentless breakdowns suggest this band have so much more to give, and 6 tracks really doesn’t do them justice.
Well-laboured, well-established and well-rounded, this third EP is by far their best yet. While ‘Common Gold’ emerged rushed and fragmented, ‘Not Tonight Josephine EP’ is a polished and perfected diamond, showcasing their determination to take over the post-hardcore realm. Not Tonight Josephine, but every night.
’Not Tonight Josephine EP’ by Not Tonight Josephine is out now.
Words by Ali Cooper (AliZombie_)