Buffalo emo-rock outfit, Well Kept Things, has an interesting history. The group got traction in the local scene with well-loved releases in 2015 and 2016, before they ended up shelving the band for seven years. Check out this older post from 2015 about the band in their early days. It seemed unlikely that the group would ever get back together, but when one of the members, Kody Fintak, moved back to the Buffalo area, the Well Kept Things spark was back in full effect. After this long period of inactivity, the group returned with a release, Weathered For Better, on December 14th.

The intro “Pick Scratch” is heartfelt, goofy, and catchy, three common ingredients that make up many great emo tunes. The band mentions that they drew inspiration from Latterman, a melodic punk four-piece from Long Island while recording the intro song with Jay Zubricky at GCR audio. Loud call-and-response group vocals fill in the gaps between the sticky guitar parts, giving the song a powerful sound. Meanwhile, empassioned adlib screams from the band’s drummer, Devin Jeffery are a rousing touch that add personality to the song. The band packs everything they have into this short intro – it’s a bright moment in a consistent EP full of standouts.

After an abrupt ending, the second song “Weathered” comes on fast with an infectious riff and a head-nodding groove. The song’s more traditional structure and melody make “Pick Scratch” sound less like the EP’s intro and more like an author’s note before the “real” intro chapter begins on “Weathered.” The lyrics, “We’re weathered for better, we’ll free fall together,” name drops the EP’s title and hints at the greater meaning of the project.

As you listen through the rest of Weathered for Better, it brings to mind “better days,” or at least invokes the happy memories of summers past. “Older” comes on strong with a hearty riff that sounds like it belongs amongst popular 90s and early 2000s radio rock giants. Think Third Eye Blind, The Goo Goo Dolls, or Jimmy Eat World. The tail end of “Turn The Page” features a ripping guitar solo that just might be the EP’s best, channeling both classic pop rock and iconic emo all at once.

The final track, “Always Blue,” concludes some of the EP’s conflicts. Lead singer, Cullen Dedrick sounds hopeful and intent on positive change singing “I gotta be better than this, I’m better than this, I am.”

Weathered For Better is soaked in nostalgia and a desire to remain youthful, a time-old emo tradition. On the other hand, the band also has a deeper understanding that things change as we get older. Whether they refer to growing apart from others or making the most of long-lasting relationships, the lyrics often view contrasting timelines, emotions, and situations as two sides of the same coin. With these lyrical themes in mind, the band’s sound is nothing short of golden pop-punk catharsis.

It seems the group is here to stay, at least for a little bit, so be sure to keep up with Well Kept Things as they look to record a full record soon. You can find Weathered For Better on any of the major streaming services, including Spotify and Apple Music.