VersaEmerge - VersaEmerge EP
Record Label: Fueled By Ramen Records
Release Date: February 3rd, 2009
If you were ever a fan of VersaEmerge back when they released Cities Built on Sand, happened to slip into a coma and this EP was the first you've heard from them since - you're in for a surprise. In 2006, the band had a male vocalist and a completely different sound than they do now. After Spencer Pearson left, VersaEmerge enlisted singer Sierra Kusterbeck and went for more toned down direction with 2008's Perceptions. Now, having a steady line-up and inking a deal with Fueled By Ramen, they've crafted a more accessible set of songs that are poppy, dark, and even eerie at times.
In the EP's first track and intro, aptly titled "Theatrics," VersaEmerge show exactly where they're going with this release, albeit only :39 seconds long. It sounds like it could be the opening music to a Tim Burton film. "Theatrics" flows into "The Hider," which would be my favorite track on the EP and should be a number one contender for first single. "Past Praying For" presents why Kusterbeck's vocals fit so well with the band; they sound great.
Comparisons to Paramore's Hayley Williams are inevitable, like they are with almost any female fronted pop-rock band, but these comparisons aren't just made by people for the sake of getting their post count up. Throughout the EP, simliarites to Williams are certainly there but not in way where they're being ripped off. In "Whisperer" and the re-recorded versions of "Clocks," VersaEmerge prove that there are two talented vocalists in the band and not just one. Guitarist Blake Harnage provides back-up vocals and complements Kusterbeck well, and the dual vocals are definitely something I hope to see more of on the full-length.
Overall, VersaEmerge has improved in almost every aspect since their beginning and have finally found their right sound with their third EP. They're going to be compared to plenty of bands, ranging from Paramore to The Receiving End of Sirens, but if they progress like they have been with their full-length, they have the potential to destroy all their competition.