Song of the Day: Twothirtyeight - Songs Will Write the Words

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Early 2000s emo, you gotta love it! One of the best, and painfully one of the most obscure in the genre was twothirtyeight (or sometimes 238). The band hailed from Pensacola, FL in the state’s panhandle. Florida seemed to be a haven for emo and hardcore during that era, and many of those bands ended up on Birmingham, AL’s Takehold Records, and then eventually on Tooth & Nail when they bought Takehold’s roster and much of its back-catalogue.

Twothirtyeight played a style of emo that minimized the hardcore influence and instead delved into a deeply emotional form of indie rock, like secular counterparts in Braid, Cursive, or Christie Front Drive. They released a handful of independent cassettes beginning in 1995, including a split with Gileah (about whom I know nothing else), and three releases for Takehold (one EP and 2 full-lengths) before issuing their final album for Tooth & Nail in 2002.

“Songs Will Write the Words” first appeared in 1999 on the Fools Rush In compilation, and was later featured on Regulate the Chemicals. It makes very effective use of angular guitars on the verses, and then juxtaposes layered vocal harmonies on the choruses, making the listener’s ears perk up in both instances.

Members have been in other projects such as Chris Staples (solo), Discover America, Decahedron, Dredger, Veranear, The Eastern Wave, and others. Some of these projects are decidedly not faith-oriented, even though 238’s approach definitely was. In many ways, their songs often felt like prayers of lament. Either way, we wish all of them the best in their current pursuits.

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