Some people call it emo (as in "emotional hardcore"), some people just call it punk. In any case, it's a clear step away from the rage-and-angst-based hardcore punk of the past; undifferentiated roar and one-minute songs have been replaced by melodies, more adventurous song structures, and lyrics that the groups actually want you to understand. What has remained is the general aggressiveness, even if it's significantly reduced in many cases. The result is uneven, but mostly worth hearing. Samiam hits the spot just right with "She Found You," and the Promise Ring's "Why Did Ever We Meet" despite the college-placement English class syntax of its title, is a charming piece of romantic pop-punk. On the other hand, it's hard to keep your attention focused on "Wheaton Calling" by Burning Airlines, and Braid doesn't exactly seem to be saying much with "New Nathan Detroits" (get it, high school musical alumni?). This is a good overview, but it may or may not convince most listeners that they need to seek out more of this kind of thing.
A Different Kind Of Greatness, Aug, 1999
The next time some kid asks you what emo is, or when you're trying to get your little sister to listen to some good music, pop Nowcore! in as an introduction.
Village Voice, Sep 8, 1999
A shining example of the indie values American punk has nutured.
The 16-track disc fairly comprehensively collects early '90s post-punk bands, with D.C. hardcore from Jawbox and SoCal freak rock by Drive Like Jehu, through late '90s offerings like western-tinged punk by Washington's Modest Mouse and melodic, emotional pop courtesy of The Promise Ring.
Amazon.com: Editorial Reviews
1. The Promise Ring - Why Did Ever We Meet (4:05)
2. HUM - Stars (5:10)
3. Seaweed - Start With (4:02)
4. Modest Mouse - Convenient Parking (4:09)
5. Braid - New Nathan Detroits (4:18)
6. At The Drive In - For Now We Toast (3:02)
7. Mineral - Forlvadell (3:38)
8. Compound Red - Versus The Ocean (3:50)
9. Samiam - She Found You (3:33)
10. Burning Airlines - Wheaton Calling (3:13)
11. Unwound - Unauthorized Autobiography (2:48)
12. The Dismemberment Plan - The Ice Of Boston (4:57)
13. Drive Like Jehu - Caress (3:56)
14. Texas Is The Reason - A Jack With One Eye (4:40)
15. Knapsack - Decorate The Spine (2:40)
16. Jawbox - Savory (4:25)