12 O'Clock Track: The Promise Ring, "Why Did Ever We Meet?" | Bleader

12 O'Clock Track: The Promise Ring, "Why Did Ever We Meet?"


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I rarely get excited about a new Twitter feed like I did when @ThePromiseRing, the official account for the departed Milwaukee emo band of the same name, came to life on November 18 with a simple message: "Hello, again..." (Also, it was my birthday.) Needless to say, I've been a fan of the Promise Ring for years, and I even submitted a proposal to write a book about their sophomore album, Nothing Feels Good, for the 33 1/3 series (it got turned down). Once the Promise Ring officially announced a local reunion show, I snapped up some tickets.

To celebrate the band's return to Chicago tomorrow night at Metro, today's 12 O'Clock Track is "Why Did Ever We Meet?"

The song is a standout on Nothing Feels Good, an album that's basically a hit parade. "Why Did Ever We Meet?" remains the epitome of a 90s indie-slash-emo sound, which broke for pop without abandoning punk ruggedness. The song's video captures the charm and youthful energy that the Promise Ring poured into their music, as well as the Polaroid-like visual aesthetic that guitarist Jason Gnewikow brought to their album artwork—another thing that countless lesser emo bands would rip off.

I could go on, but it'd fill a book. Instead you can read the oral history of the Promise Ring that I did for the A.V. Club. Heck, take the rest of the day off to get re-acquainted with these guys.