Get out your eyeliner and dark T-shirts. Emo is back, and the one-man-band Crossing i’s Dotting t’s serves up a roaring reminder of why we loved it.
“Overwhelmed” is a blazing, gritty song – the brainchild of Matthew Mucerino, the artist behind Crossing i’s Dotting t’s. The song is defined by its passionate guitar riffs and thundering drums. Although the lyrics often get lost in the heat of the song, they’re great when you catch them: emotional, desperate, and relentlessly honest.
I can’t explain half of my own feelings
The song comes out guns blazing, dropping immediately into the song’s defining guitar riff. This is a riff you can get lost in. It’s fiercely emotional and embodies the feeling of plowing through the small talk. Listening to it will make you want to go to a Crossing i’s Dotting t’s concert purely so you can headbang to this riff among a crowd of other emo badasses. Mucerino brings a raw, desperate voice to the song. His style is reminiscent of Weezer and The Front Bottoms – rough, fresh, and brutal, worlds away from the crooning mainstream styles, which of course is the point. His voice, however, is clearly not the central point of the song. His vocals are often lost in the crash of drums and guitar – it seems that Mucerino’s voice is meant to be on equal terms with the other instruments, a rare mixing strategy in today’s industry.
I’m overwhelmed by my emotions, can’t you tell?
Each rendition of the chorus is met with the iconic guitar riff. It creates the cathartic sensation of building and breaking, emulating the near violence of letting go, howling at the sky, letting the pain out of your body. The notes batter you like waves. I’d suggest you close your eyes and let it carry you.
You’re sober now, laying face down on the ground
Mucerino often jokes on his social media that he writes “rock music your mom probably won’t like.” But the truth is, there’s a lot of appeal in the song’s roughness. The rock and emo genre has long been a place of solace for people who are struggling. Emo culture saved my life in high school. This music is not always “pretty” – oftentimes, and certainly in the case of “Overwhelmed,” the music is more of an open wound – but it drives home a truth we all need to hear: that we are not alone. That we are feeling the world, good and bad, together, and we are not going to lie about it.
I can’t get out of my own head, for reasons I’m not sure
This is a song of exhaustion, of desperation, yet it roars with energy. It’s a song about holding on, wildly, loudly, even when your fingernails break.