Frame and Mantle are a Pittsburgh quintet whose music fuses the raw, heart-on-the-sleeve sensibility of emo with the cinematic peaks and valleys of post-rock.
“Empty,” the first single released from Frame and Mantle’s upcoming album Lost Under Nighttime Sky, opens with churning guitar and stately drums before building to a skyscraping crescendo of arpeggiated chords and cymbal crashes. And that’s all within the first minute, before Connor Freer even opens his mouth to sing. Once he does, the music calms down a bit, giving him space to ponder his “messy couch” and “messy floor,” admitting that he should clean things up but despairing that he “lack[s] the strength and patience to do it anymore.” As the track approaches its close, the music dies out for a moment, until a spindly guitar riff snakes upwards, and the band roars back to life with even greater force than before. Freer’s voice kicks up into a higher register, and he all but screams, “Spent my time/Wishing I’d spent my time a little better.” The level of anguish conveyed is almost difficult to listen to as Freer closes the track with the line, “My final chance has come and gone.” “Empty,” as great emo songs often do, turns a fairly commonplace occurrence (in this case, the apathy that springs from heartbreak) into an apocalyptic storm that is felt in the listener’s blood ‘n’ guts. Recommended for fans of angsty, post-rocky bands like Gates, Moving Mountains, and Pianos Become The Teeth.