Published Oct 06, 2020Emo music wrestles with uncomfortable emotions — often naked and exposed in its candour. Counterparts guitarist Alex Re took this to heart (as he laid out his) for new band You Will Always. "Brutally Honest" was the first song he wrote for the project and is exactly that: a blunt look at himself and the circumstances that necessitated the outlet in the first place.
"In spring 2020, I almost ended it all," says Re. "The preceding two years of my life came very close to destroying me. I watched my first long-term relationship disintegrate before my eyes, while losing my best friend in the process. I fell victim to a debilitating opiate addiction that nearly killed me. My entire life had fallen apart, and I only had myself to blame. I lost sight of who I was. And just as quarantine reached its most maddening heights, I gave my heart to someone who betrayed my trust and tore me apart. I had never felt lower or lonelier in my entire life."
Fortunately, sometimes old habits just die, and Re left his in the past to channel his pain here. He credits his frank introspection with helping him find himself and hopes the music can help others in a similar manner. Joining him in the delivery is former Counterparts bassist Eric Bazinet on bass/backing vocals, as well as Matt Soliveri on drums/percussion and Steve Travale on guitar/electronics.
The electronics aren't the focus here, though, as the track zeroes in on emo's punk rock roots. The driving track channels the gruff grit of a band like Alkaline Trio through the early emo stylings of Mineral and the cleaner adaptations of Jimmy Eat World, right up to modern-day masters like Pentimento and Better Off.
Re digs into "Brutally Honest" and explains why they chose it for the first taste of You Will Always:
Musically, it bridges a gap between what people might expect from my work in Counterparts and the new uncharted territory of You Will Always. Lyrically, the song manages to lay out the entire thesis of the record and is probably the most upfront and honest song on the record (hence the title). But the important thing we wish to convey is that, while "Brutally Honest" is a great introduction to the band, it's not necessarily indicative of how the rest of the record will sound.
Fans can hear the full breadth of the work on forthcoming debut LP Dependant, Reliant, which will drop November 5. For now, check out the video, directed by Anthony A Media.