The Promise Ring - Very Emergency


Release Date: September 28, 1999
Physical: Vinyl, CD
Digital: iTunes, Bandcamp, Amazon
Stream: Rdio, Spotify

2015 Pressing / 1000

/300 - Orange with Cream Swatches
/700 Orange


One of the most beloved underground rock acts of the ’90s, it’s nearly impossible to oversell the profound influence The Promise Ring had on their genre’s past, present and future. 

Formed in 1995 in Milwaukee by guitarist Jason Gnewikow, drummer Dan Didier and bassist Scott Beschta, the band was eventually rounded out by von Bohlen (who at the time was a new enlistee into Midwest darlings Cap’n Jazz but gave The Promise Ring their crucial missing piece) and signed with Jade Tree in 1996.

The Promise Ring’s sound was a truly comprehensive undertaking, a powerful style that distilled the spirit and vigor of some of the members’ punk and hardcore backgrounds and spit-shined it with von Bohlen’s tastefully angsty melodicism. The music was deceptively complex, masked by layers of driving guitars and buoyant rhythms. But it was also deceptively dark, as the singer’s heart-on-sleeve lyrics — tackling love, loss, regret and disappointment — and emotive delivery were hallmarks of The Promise Ring’s genre-leading sound.

On the back of two beloved albums (30 Degrees Everywhere and Nothing Feels Good) the group, with new bassist Scott Schoenbeck in the fold, fully spread their pop wings with 1999’s Very Emergency. Leaning heavily on the saccharine-infused sound the band gradually adopted over the years, Very Emergency found The Promise Ring fusing power-pop charm with their well-established brand of precocious indie-rock into a sound that was innately more accessible – without sacrificing a stitch of what made them pioneers in the first place.