By Sean McCall | Posted Wednesday, October 3, 2018
Parkwood is an alternative-emo band from Hammonton, New Jersey. The band’s first release was Solus in January of 2015, followed by a single, “Deathbed,” off of their most recent EP, Selfish. “Deathbed” is the fourth track on their most recent release, which I’ll be going over in this review. Parkwood consists of Jorge Estrada (vocals/guitar), Nick Moretti (vocals/bass), Nick Gelone (Drums), and Brandon Beckley (guitar). Selfish was recorded by Eric McNelis of Sleep Audio/The Gradwell House and was mastered by Dave at The Gradwell House as well.
The first song on the EP is titled, “It Gets Old,” which seems to discuss the struggle of meeting expectations of loved ones and how draining it can be when you are consistently letting down the ones you love. The music is very heavy-hitting and emotional. It starts off at an almost dragging tempo, and later picks up the pace halfway through the song. I relate heavily to this song, and had the blessing to sing on a couple of tracks. The end lyrics, “I’m a lost boy and you’re better off alone, than to be with someone who’s a constant disappointment to everyone he knows,” really hit me hard because they are so relatable.
The second song, “Home,” is my personal favorite, and the chorus is super catchy. This song discusses a very personal topic about the hardships of living in a “home” that you essentially feel uncomfortable in — like you aren’t yourself. You’ve become accustomed to something outside of yourself. When you try so hard to meet expectations of those around you — particularly, our elders — it becomes exhausting to consistently fail in their eyes. Jorge asked me to sing on this song and write something for the ending, so I wrote about a very low point in my life related to something he was similarly going through, where you just feel defeated and want to give up.
“Heavy Daze” is the third track on the EP and musically one of my favorites. It opens up with just drums playing a very energetic beat. This song seems to continue the theme of being stuck inside your own head. Battling anxiety, depression, and just the general hardships of life is definitely overwhelming, and this song explores these struggles perfectly.
The fourth song on the EP is their single, “Deathbed," and is beyond heavy-hitting. I love Nick’s vocals on this song. They combine very well with Jorge, and it portrays well with loads of energy and aggression. (Side note — I also love the choppy breakdown towards the 2 minute mark — peep it.) My favorite thing about this EP is the dynamic changes in tempo — in this song specifically. It combines genres and toys with emo and hardcore, which they pull off really well.
The last song on the EP, is the self-titled track, “Selfish.” This song opens up with self-reflection on past mistakes and just generally being self-absorbed. A lot of the lyrics seem to be discussing a relationship between two people, and the indecisiveness of the relationship based on past and re-occurring mistakes. The last lyric states, “I’m sorry I’m leaving again,” followed by a change in pace instrumentally. The music is heavy-hitting and moving. It summarized the EP as a whole very well. I think there’s a lot happening musically to portray the feelings followed by that last line.
All in all, this is one of my favorite EP’s from around here, and I was very fortunate to be a part of this. Selfish is an emotional journey of self-reflection and awareness, and it’s definitely a feeler. If you’re looking to get a lil emo, and possibly aggressive, this EP is one you should listen to for sure.