Friday Discussion: March Sadness Forlorn 4 Matchup Analysis

by Zack Zarrillo - Mar 22, 2013


We launched the Forlorn 4 round of March Sadness this past Monday, and it’s been the most voted round yet! Voting for the Forlorn 4 round will end on Sunday night before the Final 2 begins, which is why we thought it’d be a great idea to post our matchup guide for the current round of bands in the tournament again for a new Friday Discussion. Vote here until Sunday night and make sure to check out the analysis on each band while reblogging with your comments below!

90’s v Early 00’s Forlorn 4 Face-off: Jimmy Eat World vs Brand New


Jimmy Eat World (1 Seed), by Josh Hammond + Erik van Rheenen
Longevity: 18 years, 7 full lengths, one lineup change

The Big Three (Sad Songs)
A Praise Chorus
It’s not Jim Adkins’ most heartwrenching vocal performance, but the singer’s lyrics on “A Praise Chorus” are on par with the best-of-the-best of JEW’s discography. Instead of making sweeping broad-stroke statements about life or love or whatever, Adkins asks a series of rhetorical questions that really hit home before simply stating, “I wanna fall in love tonight.” We’ve all been there before, Jim.
Emo fans might be quick to roll their eyes at such a blatant sad-bastard track name, but “Pain” swaps the usual “everything hurts” sentiment to tackle taking pain away, not embracing it. Adkins shows off one of his most urgent vocal performances, and the quick tempo of the track bleeds with desperation and refuses to sound complacent. It’s one of the rare sad songs to dance to: upbeat and fast, but still resolutely miserable.
Hear You Me
The track sets the bar for sadness in music. Alone and in a strange city, Jimmy Eat World manages to find themselves crashing on the floor of a Mykel and Carli Allen’s home. They two girls were know for taking in bands who where left with no place else to go. The song reflects on the connection and the heartbreak they encountered when discovering the untimely death of the girls.  Jim Adkins would confess through his lyrics, “There’s no one in town I know. You gave us some place to go. I never said thank you for that. I thought I might get one more chance.” The band’s overwhelming gesture to the girls is both touching and heartwreching as the pain and tugs in Adkins voice are candid and honest. The emotion that swells through both the song’s storyline and approach are as heartfelt as they come. 

Future Prospects
2013 is shaping up to be a year of enormous potential for Jimmy Eat World. Fans get a first taste of the group’s upcoming album (still label-less for now) on Record Store Day with a 7” split, featuring new song “Damage” and, of all the unlikely things, a Radiohead cover. The new album is recorded, mastered and sequenced, but until it finds a home, there’s a good chance it’ll stay fairly mysterious for the time being. At least “Damage” will tease fans enough to hold them over — at least for now.


Brand New (1 Seed), by Josh Hammond
Longevity: 13 years, four studio albums, two EPs/splits, one lineup change

The Big Three (Sad Songs)
The Quiet Things That No One Ever Know
The hallmark single off Deja Entendu is a proverbial all-star in Brand New’s discography: angsty shouts, squealing guitars, and romantic theatrics abound.
Jesus Christ
Sure, it’s not standard issue falling-out-of-love-with-a-girl emo fare, but Jesse Lacey’s quiet contemplations on religion and the afterlife are still absolutely heartbreaking.
Jude Law and a Semester Abroad
You thought this would be number one, right? “Jude Law” shows Jesse Lacey at his most juvenile, sneering and brooding his way through a whirlwind three-and-a-half minute pity party.

Future Prospects
Like any other Brand New fan, I’d love to flat-out say we’re getting a follow-up to Daisy. But for now, all we’ve got is guesswork and speculation. What’s new? There are hopeful signs — dates at Penn State and Reading and Leeds, and a fan who was reportedly told by Jesse that we’d hear new music by summer, for starters — but the ever-elusive Brand New has kept tight lipped about plans going forward. For now, all we’ve got for future prospects are scattered tour dates and crossed fingers.

Mid 00’s v Modern Day Forlorn 4 Face-off: The Early November vs Dads


The Early November (1 Seed), by Adrienne Fisher
Longevity: 14 years (4 of which they were inactive), 3 full-length records (including a triple-disc), 2 lineup changes (pre-Drive-Thru era)

The Big Three (Sad Songs)
Sunday Drive
This smooth, seemingly-romantic tune sounds like it would be right at home as the last slow dance at your high school junior formal - except you’re leaning against the wall, clutching your hands to your face as you watch the person of your adolescent dreams sway in the arms of someone else. “And I know it’s not so easy when you’re all alone.” Ain’t that the truth.
Figure It Out
This song has already got you set up for dejection in the first chorus with the defeated-yet-pleading lyrics and a dragging rhythm, but boy, does it pull you into a downward spiral during the two-minute rock n’ roll coda. Ace Enders calls out “you should know…” over and over again in a spine-raking melody, capping off the disc-one closer with a heavy air of the doldrums.
Ever So Sweet
An obvious choice, but it wouldn’t be so well-loved among our fellow emos if it weren’t such a potent tearjerker. From the stripped acoustics of the song to the relatable cry of “We’re not special,” this one’s a testament to the much-missed way things were.

Future Prospects
The immediate future is looking good for The Early November. They’ve got a host of upcoming tour dates on high(ish)-profile events, including the Slam Dunk Festival in the UK and every single date of the 2013 Vans Warped Tour. Beyond that, no major events for them have been announced, but with their new record not even a year old and their career revitalization rolling along with solid momentum, all signs pointing to future activity seem to be positive.


Dads (1 Seed), by Erik van Rheenen
Longevity: 2 years, two EPs, one full-length record, one lineup change

The Big Three (Sad Songs)
Groin Twerk
Dads dropped a bomb on their full-length with a song that tackles the always-touchy subject of pregnancy. The track jumps between sparkling with sincere hope and feeling like pure hell, and it’s that ambivalence that make “Groin Twerk” a stud of a song.
Big Bag of Sandwiches
Ahh, the obligatory road song. It’s a sink or swim (but mostly sink) affair for most bands penning tunes about life on the road, but Dads captures that traveling feeling with heartfelt poetic lyrics. “Just like trees, friendships will bloom/ I might be leaving now, but I’ll be back soon.”
I Don’t Wanna Fuck With Another Dude’s Snacks
Sure, you probably get a chuckle out of the name, but first line “I won’t let this grave get the best of me” grabs listeners both by the eardrums and heartstrings. Silly song names, pensive musings: that’s Dads’ calling card.

Future Prospects
Dads has an incredibly bright future ahead of them. The upstart emo duo dropped their first full-length, American Radass (this is important) last year, and if that record is any sign of things to come, Dads is going to stick around as a stalwart in the scene. Armed with twinkling guitars, hoarse shouts and softly-spun poetry, the duo wax poetic in its lyrics and maintain a goofy vibe otherwise. It’s a formula that works, and John Bradley and Scot Scharinger know it. Their sophomore record, whenever it comes, should be a standout.

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  4. yungnollz reblogged this from propertyofzack and added:
    Surprised Balance didn’t make it into the Semis. Should be TEN and Brand New in the finals.
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  11. peculiar-doll said: No ‘Shit Twins’ in top 3 sad Dads songs? C’mon, PoZ.
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