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Sojourn Suspect

by | Jul 17, 2020

Sojourn Suspect
Sojourn Suspect
Repeating Cloud

When Maine’s “reopening” entered Stage 2 in June, people were allowed to eat outside at restaurants again. Driving down Fore Street, I felt like I was in some unwanted reboot of Invasion of the Body Snatchers, watching diners sitting at hastily assembled sidewalk tables, maskless and gloveless, as if brainwashed into thinking they’re immune. “Who do you think you are?” I wanted to scream at them. Luckily, now I have Chris Emery to do the screaming for me. “Lockdown,” one of several hard-charging power-pop earworms on Emery’s solo debut as Sojourn Suspect, is a fist-pumping yell-along for anyone not done being petrified of COVID-19. “Who do you think you are? / Touching my buttons / I am insecure,” goes the chorus, delivered in tight two-part harmony over crunching power chords. Emery, also a member of Valuables and Same Basic Bear, wrote, sang and played every note on Sojourn Suspect, and it’s to the artist’s credit that this recording sounds very much like a live band, one whose members are challenging one another to up the energy level. And refreshingly, Emery’s clear affinity for ’90s alt-rock isn’t limited to the hip stuff — the early single “The Seven Seas” has a raucous drinking-song melody that smacks of Dookie-era Green Day. It’s one kind of catchiness I don’t mind exposing myself to.

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