Originally a side project for Get Up Kids singer Matthew Pryor, the New Amsterdams, with their rustic, acoustic balladry, prove there's life after emo. Scar, their fourth release, continues Pryor's subtle progression away from the rough but altogether endearing quality of earlier releases into more sombre and refined territory. A strongly defined alt-country vibe using sedated pedal-steel guitars, banjo and lots of reverb make this easily Pryor's most accomplished and mature work to date. Don't be crestfallen if you're looking to revive the ghost of the Get Up Kids, though, because Pryor expresses a restrained sense of stripped emotion here that is just as affecting as his former lamenting self.
The New Amsterdams play the El Mocambo Saturday (April 8).