Powerhouse rockers Emit issue intelligent anthems as they hone their skills through higher education

 Emit with The RocketTops, Wunderjazz and Tree Farmer

7 p.m. Friday
ACM@UCO Performance Lab
323 E. Sheridan

OK, yes, a mature understanding of the value of a college degree isn't exactly in lockstep with the rock-'n'-roll lifestyle, but like any career, knowledge is power.

Members of Emit, Oklahoma City's emerging powerhouse rock band, have rock ambitions on temporary hold until they finish their degrees. In the meantime, the act will celebrate "Out of Reaction," a sophomore album packed with polished anthems, at Friday's CD release show in Bricktown.

The roots of the group go back to cousins Brian and Caleb Collins tooling around with guitars more than six years ago. Lifelong friends Austin Brimacombe and Benjamin Killebrew were recruited. Now, all four approach Emit's seven-year mark, with another year and a half remaining until the last members wrap up their college careers.

"Our main concern is getting school done," Caleb Collins said. "Earlier this summer, we worked on our two-year goals, and we are all very passionate about school. We feel it is something important to be accomplished."

Small tours between semesters and intense writing sessions over the holidays will build a foundation of fans for the band, but Brian Collins said they are focusing on their maturation as musicians ahead of the major push that will follow the last graduation ceremony. He currently studies vocal education at the University of Central Oklahoma; the classical training has shifted his own creative process significantly.

"When we were kids fooling around with guitars, it was an accidental process," he said. "The only time you came up with something cool, it was when you played something wrong. That still happens today, but I'm not limited to that primitive process of clunking around until you stumble onto something worth recording. I can be driving around in the car with a melody in my head, and I know what scale to use and what chords to go over it."

"Out of Reaction" follows the progression of the band members, starting with an early love of Switchfoot that evolved into a progressive, arena-sized sound more in the mold of Muse.

"A lot of the songs range back to when we started out, but there are newer songs that are 1 or 2 years old," Brian Collins said. "There is a track called 'Would You' that we wrote when we were all about 15 and 16 that ended up No. 1 on a Japanese podcast when we released it as a single. That was cool."

He hopes that post-UCO, Emit will be free for national tours, and that the complexities of life after college won't pull the tight-knit band apart. Caleb Collins believes that the ties formed after knowing each other for so long are strong enough to survive the transition.

"We will continue growing musically and maturing in our own ways," he said. "But, before we had formed the band, we were hanging out and playing together, so it isn't just the music that is holding us together."  "Charles Martin

 Photo: Emit

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