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  • Writer's pictureNick Villers

Freshly Brewed: KOYO

By: Nick Villers

Freshly Brewed highlights up & coming bands and artists. So grab a fresh cup and read up.

FFO: Early-Late 2000s Emo/Post-Hardcore, New England Hardcore, Transit, Taking Back Sunday

The meaning of KOYO (紅葉) "refers to the Japanese term of red, orange, and yellow leaves that change color every autumn, and the tradition of appreciating the colors of this fall foliage."

The fall is filled with cooler air, cloudy skies, and a tinge of nostalgia, especially for those fond of their emo yesteryears. This makes Koyo the perfect pair for any millennial who grew up wishing they were swinging the microphone like Adam Lazzara from Taking Back Sunday in 2002 or stage diving in 2009 to Transit's "Stay Home". Koyo feels nostalgically familiar yet refreshingly new, giving you all of the raw emo/punk feels and nothing but smiles.

Formed in 2020 in Long Island, NY, Koyo is the melodic hardcore/emo band comprised of lead vocals Joey Chiaramonte, guitar Mike Marazzo, guitar TJ Rotolico, guitar Harold Griffin, bass Stephen Spanos, and drums Sal Argento. They're a super-core group of friends who are from a number of hardcore bands such as Typecaste, Rain of Salvation, Hangman, Adrenaline, and SeeYouSpaceCowboy. The band has two EPs under their belt, 2020 'Painting Words into Lines' and 2021 'Drives Out East', an acoustic EP with reimagined work called 'Short Beach Sessions', and most recently inked a deal with Pure Noise Records, with two new singles released, "Straight North" and "Ten Digits Away". They aren't slowing down any time soon.

Upon first listen to 'Drives Out East', you are immediately reminded of the emo & punk sounds of the early to late 2000s. It's fast-paced, high energy, and hurls emotional melodies that are raw and rough around the edges. Call and response vocals are reminiscent of early Taking Back Sunday Adam Lazzara and John Nolan as well as Transit's Joe Boynton and the late Tim Landers from 2008-2010. Not only does the songwriting reflect this time period in music, it's Koyo's whole package. The sound of their recordings, EP artwork, merchandise, and most importantly, live show energy makes you feel like you're wearing your heart on your sleeve and moshing in October 2009.

Don't be mistaken, although anyone that was a fan of those glory years will be salivating at the influences this band brings out, Koyo produces their own emo/punk & post-hardcore flavor that's fresh for 2022, making them incredibly exciting to listen to, watch, and are just flat out fun. The band is continuing to climb in a short amount of time, as they are currently on the A Tear in the Fabric of Life Tour opening up sold out shows for Knocked Loose, Movements, and Kublai Khan TX. They are certainly in good company.

In Koyo's music video "Moriches", the banner they hang from a bridge reads "EMO'S BACK". I couldn't agree more. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to spin Koyo for the rest of 2022 and appreciate the colors the fall foliage will bring when it arrives.


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