Although, this is only the third release from the Floridian-quintet and first release since being signed, VersaEmerge have definitely made all the right directions with their self-titled EP. They have stayed true to their name of emerging above their own genre which brings in pieces of experimental, post-hardcore and that very vague, yet familiar term ‘alternative’.
A lot of people told me prior to listening to VersaEmerge that were another pop-punk band… I have no idea where people got that notion from, as the first song Theatrics features an orchestral instrumental which doubles as not only the intro for the EP but for the following song The Hider. It was a good move making Theatrics only last 39 seconds because any longer than that and it would’ve become very pretentious.
The Hider begins with only the voice of lead singer, Sierra, and programming from guitarist and former lead singer, Blake. Slowly the programmed beat is replaced with drums and the song becomes catchier as opposed to soothing. The lyrics, as abstract as they can be, don’t confuse you with meaningless metaphors. Past Praying For is the only track which doesn’t feature programming, which makes a nice change and shows that they can make an equally good track can be made without any gimmicks (as gimmick-y as post-hardcore programming can get really). Whisperer is the most orchestral song on the EP, and is reminiscent of Chiodos’ Bone Palace Ballet sans screaming. It’ll bring out those swivel-hips and head-bopping for sure once the chorus kicks in.
The track which stands out the most is possibly Clocks as Blake’s voice is more prominent within this song bringing a beautiful harmonious sound which isn’t lost with the other songs, it simply stands out more. Older fans will be familiar with this song as it also on their last EP Perceptions, however, the sound is a exceptionally harsher and the vocals aren’t as strong on the last recording of it. By re-recording it and ultimately making it over ten times better, they’ve shown a lot of progress. The bass and drums are used at a minimum and the electric guitar is replaced with an acoustic until the last minute of song where they all come back in strength to bring the song and EP to a close.
On the whole, this record is not solely directed at your tutu-clad generation like a lot of music today is, it’s something that appeals to everyone including that kid that thinks he’s better than everyone else because he listens to nothing but Gorilla Biscuits and Fugazi.