It is heartening to me that, in the blighted year of our lord 2021, at a time when everyone purports to know everything, there are still strange gems to uncover. Here, for example, is a cassette reissue of the four-song demo by Oswald’s Last Plea – a mid-90s Merrimack Valley band who counted the likes of Converge and Cave In as their contemporaries. Rather than disjointed, splay-chorded metalcore, Oswald’s Last Plea played something far more emo, however, and acts like The Huguenots and Sevenpercentsolution would perhaps serve better as geographically-equivalent namedrops. The style veers from the crunchy, madcap octaves and throat-shredded screams of Cornelius to mushier indie patches that recall Sidekick Kato, a more aggro Mid Carson July or Braid before they stepped it up and got their shit together with ‘Frame And Canvas’. The energy is high, the songs pack a lot in and there’s that wonderful sense that things could quite easily collapse in on themselves at any given moment. It is, to put it bluntly, prime CZ fodder, and kudos to Polar Summer for digging deep and bringing it into circulation. Trivia fans may be interested to know that after this demo the band changed their name to Psara and went full Deep Elmo – a band fractionally less obscure, whose main claim to fame was appearing on the third ‘Emo Diaries’ compilation.