Courtesy of John Matychuk

Review: CPP student led band Case Study brings emo music back to the light in new EP

By Luke Frantz, April 11, 2023

The up-and-coming Pomona-based band Case Study has their eyes set on bringing emo back through their music. Their debut EP “Healing. Misery. Boredom.” uses the instrumentals and vocal performances that gives feelings of early 2000’s emo and alternative music. 

The EP starts with the title track “Healing. Misery. Boredom.” and immediately the opening guitar riff is reminiscent of older tracks from Blink-182 and other bands of that nature. The lyrics of the song describe navigating the trials of life and how they can be full of healing, misery and boredom.

The second track “Love + Hate” has a catchy instrumental, with the lyrics speaking about being everything a partner both loves and hates and being confused about the position they are in.

The fourth track on the EP “Out There” is truly one that is set apart from the rest of the project. The song hedges on an acoustic guitar riff rather than an electric and has a slower melodic tone. 

The sixth song “Attention” is a very catchy and very solid relationship song, the lyrics echo the singer wants attention from their significant other, but that significant other begins feeling distant. This song is a very different yet very good change of pace and has one of the more unique breakdowns on the project as the beat does a slight switch and rather than singing, it sounds like a rap verse. 

The third track “Fool (From the Start)” echoes a modern love story for young adults. The beat is fast paced and enjoyable with the juxtaposition of the lyrics talking about ignoring red flags at the beginning of a relationship and letting someone in, only for that someone to end up hurting you in the end. 

The fifth track “Vulnerability” is just that, vulnerable. Front-man Benjamin Villa shines on this song through lyrics that express how he allowed people to get into what he considered his safe space and sings powerful lyrics about his personal vulnerability. Villa is very open in this song about the toxicity in his life and adds depth to the song. 

The EP ends with the song titled “Listening” and right off the bat the instrumental is hard hitting drums and a catchy electric guitar riff. The vocals on this track bring visions of early 2000’s Green Day and gives a lot of life to the finale of this EP. The lyrics ask if you ever look out to the skyline and dream of a future where you can be free and play by your own rules.

This project is a solid work of music and definitely something that Case Study should be proud of as their first project as a band. The electric melodies and catchy drumlines help achieve the goal that Case Study set.

“Healing. Misery. Boredom.,” does have its shortcomings though, one of which being that the project is very short as a whole, it is understandable that it is just an EP, but the quality in music and the feelings the lyrics invoke leave the listener wanting to hear more. Another thing Case Study could improve upon is the production itself of the songs. While the music is good, there are certain times on the album where the instrumentals drown out the vocals and vice versa. Like any artist though, that issue can easily be solved as Case Study makes more music and continues to find their sound.

This EP is simply a peak of what is to come for this band from Pomona, and the future looks bright for them. 

Feature image courtesy of John Matychuk

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