Arlington To Boston

Emmet Swimming

Epic, 1996

REVIEW BY: Pete Crigler


On their sophomore record, Virginia’s emmet swimming made one of the best alt rock records of the late ‘90s. There are so many great tracks here and the band was firing on all cylinders.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Hooking up with producer Don Dixon, the band really had honed their songwriting, and with a new bass player in tow, the musicianship was cranked up a notch, too. “Arlington” has one of the catchiest riffs ever heard on alt rock radio. Believe me, the riff will be lodged in your head long after the disc is done. Other tracks have a similar feeling, such as “Fake Wood Trim” and the classic “Parking Lot.”

The only nagging thing about the disc is that the songs could’ve been longer. “Sellout” is a great track but it’s less than three minutes long. It doesn’t feel as strong as it could’ve been as a result of its briefness. Same thing goes for “17 Hours,” which features some great vocals from Todd Watts but because it feels too short, it doesn’t really reach its full potential.

“Wake” and “Boston” are two of the album’s erstwhile ballads and they come across very well and are two of the most notable tracks here. Both tracks show how far the band had come from their first record.

Not every track is a winner. “Bullet In Your Hand” is one that goes nowhere and almost drags the record down. But it’s the real strength of songs like “Arlington” and “Wake” that really make the album so good.

The band would record one more major label record before going into a recording hiatus. They have had two records of new material since 2000. This is without a doubt the best sonic representation of everything the band was capable of, and easily one of the best records to come out of VA in the last twenty-five years.

Rating: A-

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