while you were gone
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while you were gone

Houston, Texas, United States | SELF

Houston, Texas, United States | SELF
Band Rock


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Official Space City Rock Review!"

While You Were Gone, Winter/Summer

One of the absolute best things about music, good music, is the connected-ness of it. If a band’s doing its job right, you’re able to grasp onto the feelings, the emotions behind the yelled/sung lyrics and roaring guitars; if there’s no connection going on, the guitars and yelling are just that, but if the song sucks you in and makes you feel like you’ve been exactly where the singer is — or, at least, that you can imagine that place, whether or not you’ve been there yourself in real life — then hell, you’re golden.

On top of everything else going on, that emotional connection is what makes While You Were Gone’s newest EP, Winter/Summer, work so incredibly well. It would be ridiculously easy for somebody other than Misty Moore (formerly Gray) to sing the lyrics she’s written and come off seeming trite and cheesy; I mean, honestly, lyrics about love and heartache just kind of veer that way all by themselves, without much help.

Honestly, it’s hard not to sound cheeseball when you’re singing lyrics like, “Now I know exactly / what love is / Feeling so alive / on a winter night” (from the title track). And yet While You Were Gone pull it off, crafting these insanely, unashamedly earnest songs about love and trust and loss and all the rest. It’s immediately clear that Moore and her bandmates (which include guitarist/husband Anthony Moore) really, truly do mean every word they sing, every note they play. And as sincerity’s pretty key to songs like this, that makes it all, well, close to perfect.

Of course, it helps that the music’s pretty compelling; to start with, opener “Your Heart Can Hold The Weight Of Two” simmers beautifully, bridging the gap between classic female-fronted emo bands like Pohgoh and more baroque, orchestrated stuff like Eisley (albeit with vocals that make me think of Nina Gordon from Veruca Salt). I love the desperate, pleading vocals and the woozy-sounding record scratches (I think?) layered in the background, not to mention the roaring, loud-but-not-too-loud guitars.

“See You Next Summer” hits similar territory, a bitter, prettily caustic warning of a song with thundering, anthemic, Explosions In The Sky-ish guitars that just beg to be cranked up to ear-splitting volume (and still sound good that loud, which is nice). “Winter/Summer” is quieter and more low-key, with nice piano backing and great, gently-fuzzed walls of guitars rising up out of the snow, and “We Were So Young” is on the quiet side, too, at least near the start.

The latter track, by the by, is probably my personal highlight of the songs on here — it’s the story of a romance in total, from the beginning to The Big Day, covering all the uncertain ground and learning in-between with a sense of contented wonderment, and there’s an awesome confidence to it, to boot, with Moore offering, “We were so young / but we knew what we wanted.”

And then, there’s the break. When the question’s popped, the drums come pounding in, and the whole damn track lifts into the stratosphere. Best. Damn. Emo-rock. Crescendo. Ever. No lie. I could listen to that one bit over and over and over again and still have to pick my face up off the floor; it’s amazing, and it makes my sappy, romantic ass tear up each time.

This is the sound of love between two people who’ve been waiting to see what would happen after the curtain fell on childhood and they moved on into adult life. And it’s heartbreakingly beautiful for that. - Space City Rock

"Heavy Lies The Crown"

While You Were Gone
Heavy Lies The Crown

I've been looking forward to this one for a while now, but now that I've got it in hand and am listening to it, I'm torn. Don't get me wrong -- I'm enjoying the heck out of While You Were Gone's new EP and kicking myself for not yet having seen them play live. Vocalist/pianist Misty Gray's got one of the best voices in the realm of emo-ish rock, hands down; she's sweet and expressive, yearning but still fiery when she needs to be, and at the end of the day, she's pretty much the star of the show, at least on Heavy Lies The Crown. I'm reminded of Maura Davis (Denali/Ambulette/Glös) at times, Alison Mosshart (Discount/The Kills) at others, and even a less-punk Stella Maxwell (Austin's Cruiserweight).
The band I'm really reminded of, however, from Gray's vocals to the gentle-yet-distorted guitars to the melancholy melodies drifting beneath the surface, is the tragically underrated proto-emo-pop band Pohgoh. The voices of Gray and ex-Pohgoh singer Susie Richardson share the same kind of delicate, uncertain vulnerability, even when they're really belting it out. On Heavy Lies The Crown, too, the lyrics are all about being unsure of yourself and not feeling worthy, which further deepens the resemblance. I guess that when it comes down to it, While You Were Gone is an emo band at its heart.
Obviously, all the comparisons in the world don't mean a thing if it's no good, and While You Were Gone delivers, for the most part. Album bookends "Sinner" and "Thief," which resemble one another enough that I thought they were two parts of the same song for a little while, are the EP's twin highlights -- they're beautiful, poignant, scar-baring heartbreakers, and they demonstrate that the band knows what it's doing. Two of the other three tracks, "Waiting" and "Learn to Fight," fare pretty well, to boot, the former full of fire and desperation and the latter slow and methodical, like beaten-down footsteps fading as the protagonist passes down a darkened street. The title track, unfortunately, doesn't come out so well, mostly due to some klunky, repetitive lyrics, but hey, four out of five ain't bad.
In the end, I find myself having the same issue with Heavy Lies The Crown that I generally have with EPs, at least when they're good: it's too damn short. There's a boatload of promise here, shown especially on "Sinner" and "Thief," but there's not enough sonic space for the band to really stretch out and show what they can do. For now, it's a good start, but it's too little of what sure sounds/looks like it could be a really, really good thing.
[While You Were Gone is playing 3/7/08 at the First Baptist Church in Shepherd and also 3/8/08 at Fuel Cyber Cafe in Humble, with Artist vs. Poet.] (Jeremy Hart // 02/28/08)
(self-released; While You Were Gone -- http://www.myspace.com/whileyouweregone)
- Space City Rock

"Emo Diaries Vol.11"

I’m pretty hard on emo music on this site. There’s a good reason for this – most of it is pretty awful. On one hand, you have a lot of whiny, melodramatic songs about relationships gone wrong that are written for fourteen-year-olds who like to cry. On the other hand, you have a lot of heavy screamo things, fast, hard melodramatic songs about relationships gone wrong that are also written for fourteen-year-olds who like to cry. It’s come a long way from the early “emotional hardcore” bands like Rites of Spring and Samiam. And by doing so, emo has become a gross caricature of itself.

Which brings us to The Emo Diaries, Chapter 11 - Taking Back What’s Ours. From 1997-2004, Deep Elm Records has put out the various chapters of The Emo Diaries, exposing the world, for better or for worse, to a ton of emo bands. Some have gone on to be great, some not so much. They took a few years off, probably realizing how bad emo had become, and then decided to do it again.

As a service to you, my readers, I opted to give this album a spin. I do have to admit that there are still some good emotional hardcore bands out there, and I was hoping to hear some when I, with much trepidation, threw this album in.

You know what? I was pleasantly surprised.

There Is Some Good Emo Out There
Of the 12 artists on this comp, six are actually worth a closer listen, and when it comes to an emo comp, 50% ain’t half bad! These include some nice straight-up hardcore guitar riffs from two English bands, Above Them (Listen/Download) and My Awesome Compilation (Listen/Download), and some nice jangly punk-meets indie sounds from Spain’s This Drama (Listen/Download) and Portland, Oregon’s The Crash Engine (Listen/Download).

The two most surprising tracks were “Hey Lola” from Houston, Texas’s While You Were Gone and “Until Vendetta’s Achieved” from England’s I’m Fashion, You’re Victim.

***While You Were Gone is an amazing female-fronted band that mixes hardcore guitar lines with pop hooks and a simply majestic ‘80s-heavy sound. It’s sincere and emotional without being melodramatic, and it would be worthy of the emo crown, if that crown hadn’t been defaced (Listen/Download).

What While You Were Gone does to redeem the emo sound, I’m Fashion, You’re Victim does for the screamo sound. They take classic metal riffs and mix them with punk rock sensibilities. Then, in a break away from the classic (which means awful) screamo sound, they use one singer, who, while he does scream, he does it well. He screams in the way the power metal guys of yore screamed. You can understand what he says, and he doesn’t succumb to the urge, not even once, to make those guttural “vocals” that sound like the sounds a hippo might make should you kick him the stomach (Listen/Download).

So, that’s what’s good about this comp. Which is half of it.


- Punkmusic.com

"EP Come Back"

Friday: While You Were Gone, Er, Comes Back with a New EP [8/28/2009 12:09:00 AM]:
Glad to get some good news from that crew of seemingly ever-dwindling Northside(?) emo/post-emo bands -- female-fronted, light-handed yet majestic emo-rockers While You Were Gone have finally come back out of seclusion. About damn time, y'all.
To be fair, in the intervening time since they released their excellent debut EP, Heavy Lies the Crown -- check the review by yours truly right here -- back in January of last year, vocalist Misty Moore (formerly Gray) and guitarist Anthony Moore got married (aww...congrats, you crazy kids), and they recruited new drummer David Lopez and second guitarist/keyboardist Brad Smith. Guess that requires a bit of retooling, admittedly, and hey, going by what I've heard off new EP Winter/Summer, the wait's worth it.

It's funny, but the band's entire outlook seems to have done a one-eighty since last I heard 'em. The songs on Crown were beautiful but bleak, with tracks like "Thief" and "Sinner" painting a melancholy, downtrodden picture; it was (and is) great stuff, but more suited to sitting in dark rooms pining away and writing poetry.

This time 'round, though, the music's the sound of two people madly, crazily in love, and...um, wow. You can hear the sheer joy rolling out of the speakers on tracks like the story-song "We Were So Young" (wait for the break, folks, because it hits the afterburners in a really incredible way), the delicate, smiling "Winter/Summer", and the roaring, defiant, skyward-aiming "Your Heart Can Hold the Weight of Two."

Musically, the band comes off closer to 1997 territory than they do Pohgoh, or maybe like a less-heavy Veruca Salt -- Misty's voice reminds me of Nina Gordon in a big way -- or less-baroque Eisley. And while I'll have to reserve judgment for when I hear the full EP, I have to say that it sure sounds like the band's fulfilling that promise I talked about last time.

Why'm I talking about this right now, btw? Well, because the band's playing its EP release tomorrow night, Friday, August 28th, out in their hometown 'hood of Humble at Fuel Cyber Cafe.

They're playing with similarly-cool guys Hollywood Black and The Ride Home (who I need to hear more of, by the by; their song "If I'm Robocop, then You...Turn Me Off", from the first Mia Kat Empire comp, bowls me over every time it cycles past on my iPod). Anthem & Why He Hates Becca I dunno, but they're playing too, so check 'em out.

The show starts around 7PM, and it'll cost you $8 -- Northsiders, WYWG fans, and lovers of sweet, earnest, emo-influenced stuff, this is where you should be.

- Space City Rock

"Heavy Lies The Crown // UK Reviews"

While You Were Gone
Heavy Lies the Crown
Year Released: 2008
Format: CD
Label: self released

Reviewed by Andy Malcolm While You Were Gone caught my ear on Emo Diaries 11, and in a fit of having had a few beers one evening I decided to order their CDEP from cdbaby. Then it turned up, so I decided to review it. And damn does it get off to a good start! "Sinner" (hmm, my godmo sense is tingling) is a quality slice of indie rock with mid / late 90s post hardcore leanings. The strong female vocals mean you end up with something that sounds like a cross between Pohgoh and Texas is the Reason. Tell me that having read this far you aren't excited by that thought! "Sinner" is a great track, it blends slowburning pauses for thought with explosions of urgency and is a great revisiting of a style of music which you may have thought had long since run dry. But here is the bit where you run away screaming: it really is godmo. If you can get past the godmo you will be quite happy listening to this. Otherwise, you'll be a bit disappointed. There are five tracks overall, the final four are not quite as good as the opener, but the title song is a good un for sure, they ease off on some of the power and play a calmer mid-paced song. It's a nice contrast against the rockier post-hc efforts.

For those still with us who aren't put off by overt godmo you will probably be more than content with the music. It's solid post hardcore, and the fact that there have been no bands that sound that much like Pohgoh since Pohgoh broke up mean that I am a bit more lenient on the whole bible front. Shit, I listen to Mineral, I can look past the lyrics. - Collective Zine


Online store = www.cdbaby.com/whileyouweregone

FREE MUSIC = www.whileyouweregone.bandcamp.com

"winter/summer" EP-Self Released in '09

"Heavy Lies The Crown" EP - Self Released in '08

"Taking Back Whats Ours" The Emo Diaries CHP.11 - Released '07 on Deep Elm Records



This is a story, an attempt to shed some light on the reason behind While You Were Gone. We often need reasons as people to explain the existence of any one thing. These are our reasons for being. Thank you for reading this and wondering why.

First, While You Were Gone is a family. Dysfunctional as most, we are constantly reminded of the effort it takes to keep a family together. There have been times over the past few years that interventions have been arranged in efforts to prevent a member from going astray. We lack much, we fight often, and we’re rarely satisfied with the work we produce as a band. And yet, we are compelled to exist in this world of music that we have come to love and desire and need.

Ultimately, we have been led to this place of uncertainty. As we prepare for the release of our new EP, we again find ourselves filled with doubt and scared we will never make a difference. Is it ok if nobody likes our songs? Are we a failure if we never sell a single T-shirt? Likely. But we are no strangers to failure. And we’re not scared.

Finally, we would like to make a promise. We promise to be passionate and true. We recognize an urgent need for realism in music today and will do our best to create that. This is the reason we continue to be a band. When this is all over, we would like to say we have done something real. Because who could ever be happy with anything else?

**For more info vist www.myspace.com/whileyouweregone**