Sounds like … just about every other emo rocker on the Tooth & Nail roster or the Vans Warped Tour, from Mae and Anberlin to Nevertheless and This Beautiful RepublicAt a glance … this snappy little debut EP from Philmont offers nothing new to the saturated emo and pop/punk canons, but it certainly belongs thereTrack Listing I Can't Stand to Fall The Difference Another Name My Hippocratic Oath Photosynthetic

Is there more to Forefront Records than dc Talk, Audio Adrenaline, tobyMac, and Rebecca St. James? Apparently so, as the imprint label appears intent on making a comeback by beefing up their roster, adding a handful of hip new signees including Dizmas, This Beautiful Republic, Abandon, and now Philmont.

Barely into their third year as a group, Philmont was snapped up by Forefront after several performances at the iconic Cornerstone Festival impressed higher-ups at the label. Intentional about their music and their message, the group did all it could to stand out at the mega fest, handing out bracelets and walking around with a CD player as they motivated would-be fans to give them a shot, both in-ear and at their live show.

This eagerness is all over the Oh Snap EP, Philmont's short 17-minute introduction before their full-length debut in 2009. Of course, the key to being a Forefront act is first and foremost being youth-oriented, and Philmont suitably fits that part. They don't display the cheerleader qualities of, say, Audio Adrenaline, but they nevertheless wear their hearts on their sleeves, boasting a chunky emo pop/punk sound that's been the bread and butter of today's youth culture for the last 5 years or so.

That said, there's nothing here that hasn't already been attempted by numerous other emo/power pop hopefuls, from Mae and Anberlin to Nevertheless and This Beautiful Republic. But occasional fake horns, glockenspiels, synths, and a vaguely Underoath-like techno undercurrent spice up a couple of tracks. These sporadic tricks help to break up the fast-paced monotony a bit.

Philmont also shows some signs of personality in the way they put their thoughts on paper. They're still too young to take over the songwriting reins completely, but they show promise in the uncharacteristically titled "My Hippocratic Oath" and "Photosynthetic," each a track pertaining to one's identity, both in Christ and in public. And of course, Christian rock these days requires at least one worship song ("Another Name"), but then Philmont is just beginning to find its voice, so a move like that is expected. Oh Snap is a start, and a reasonably priced little EP, but we'll wait until Philmont's full-length debut in 2009 to see what they're really got to offer.

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