Mike Mantione should be any emo lover’s spirit animal. The wavering sensitivity embedded in the Five Eight vocalist’s dogged musical self-examination isn’t wimpy or saturated by sentimentality the way pretenders in the genre often are – it’s authentic emotion that tricks you with uplifting pop melodies while the singer lilts and even whistles his way through charged lines like “Oh god, you’re dead to me now” (on the title track of 2011’s Your God Is Dead to Me Now
). Because Five Eight began in the ’90s, there’s a genuine thread of angsty alt-rock and post-punk that finds Mantione occasionally growling between his affecting proclamations. It’s a perfect pairing with local heroes the New Lows, whose sound has Jawbreaker leanings that help them evoke an equally distinct nostalgia for that sweet ’90s era that history remembers as a glom, but more attentive memories treasure for unique gems like Five Eight.
Five Eight with the New Lows, the False Hopes | 9 p.m. Friday, May 8 | Will’s Pub, 1042 N. Mills Ave. | willspub.org