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If Breathe Carolina is any indication of the direction in which post-hardcore is headed, EATMEWHILEIMHOT! is either ahead of the curve or trying desperately to catch up (notice that EMWIH & BC share a thing for dirtyboy glamour shots).

EMWIH’s early releases suggest that the members of the band (one of whom is Nevershoutnever’s Christian/vegetarian Christoph(f?)er Drew) opted for sampling chunks of the styles that influenced them instead of coming up with a coherent sound of their own.

The only two tracks I’ve listened to more than once contain geeky screaming and deathcore growls, super-slow, doom-metal breakdowns, lots of palm-muted rhythm lines, sparse electronica beats, judicious use of double-bass, and saccharine pop-punk choruses. There’s even a pirate “Argh!” somewhere near the end of “Two Armed Man,” and a tribute to Leave it to Beaver The Andy Griffith Show in “The Point.” But neither combination amounts to much. If I want post-hardcore, I’m going to listen to Burden of a Day, Oceana, or Underoath, or five or six of the other bands that do the crowd proud (and if I want new post-hardcore, I’m going to listen to Hand to Hand—post forthcoming). There’s better pop, too, like The Academy Is… (see next week’s City Lights) and Emery. And it’s telling that the more-focused “The Point” is a better song.

Ultimately, the price of being artsy—if mindless eclecticism counts as art—totals up to a limited true-fanbase, a possible quick rise to indie fame, and ultimately, obsolescence. So long as they’re working off a gimic, EMWIH will never hear their songs on indie FM stations, and I doubt they’ll release anything  beyond an EP. In other words, if they last more than a season, it means that EATMEWHILEIMHOT! will have picked a genre and stuck with it.