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By Jon Graef in Arts & Entertainment on Apr 28, 2011 6:00PM

When sub-genres become popular amongst a wider musical audience, two possible outcomes can occur. The first is that a style of music that's influential, if rough around the edges, gains a greater melodic focus and recording fidelity previously non-existent. For instance, contemplate the musical lineage between a Flipper record and Nirvana's Nevermind. That's a good -- nay, a great -- outcome.

The second, and far more common, outcome, is that those influences are diluted to pablum and sold to the masses. Without naming names, emo fans know how their scenario turned out. Luckily, the best revivalist bands can return a wayward genre to its economic roots without releasing the musical equivalent of a purist's screed. This is where the new release from Chicago's The Part Five comes into play.

The Tightening, the band's latest effort for local label Cardboard Sangria Records, simultaneously returns emo to its basic musical vocabulary with simple, reach-for-the-rafters vocal melodies and expands them through thoughtful, complex, but not indulgent, arrangements.

Tracks like "The Thoroughs" and "Idle Handsman" showcase rock-steady rhythm work, nostalgic, engaging vocals and crunchy, mid-fi guitars-and-bass. Picture a blend of Cap N' Jazz and Tapes N' Tapes, then throw in the clean, jazz-influenced new wave guitar chords of early Police records. The Tightening, well, tightens up these influences while engaging in addition forays into post-punk and mid-tempo, Walkmen-like balladry. (See single "C-Clamp," available for download below).

The Part Five play a record release show for The Tightening with excitable bands Geronimo! and Dick Wolf! Saturday, April 30th, at Quencher's. Tickets are $5, show starts at 9 p.m. and is 21+. Through Sunday, May 1st, you can download The Tightening for free by clicking on The Part Five's Facebook page and "liking" them.

MP3: The Part Five "C-Clamp"
Download: The Part Five - The Tightening (through liking the band on Facebook).