VersaEmerge – Fixed At Zero
Record Lavel: Fueled By Ramen
Release Date: June 22, 2010
Let us take the time to thank Hayley Williams and Paramore for their success that has led to an influx of female-fronted bands in the past two years. VersaEmerge did not start out with a female vocalist, but when their old vocalist left, Sierra auditioned for the band and was chosen. This will be their third release with Sierra, and the album has been surrounded with hype as they seem to be primed to be the next Paramore. Now as this is 2010, the year of disappointments, you have to wonder before even taking a listen if you should lower your expectations for Fixed At Zero.
“Figure It Out” does not really grab you into the album as a proper opener should. It really paints a lackluster opening scene for an album that has been hyped and anticipated for quite some time. There is still hope though as “Mind Reader” comes out with some promise and a good, not great, vocal performance from Sierra. Sierra makes up for that though with vivid lyrics throughout the album that you could imagine in your head. Sierra’s vocals are great, but they are also predictable with her only throwing one or two pitches with no curveballs to keep the batter in check.
I have been leaning a lot on the vocal aspect of the album, but there is a good reason for that. This is a very vocal led album with nothing really in the background to make note of. The instruments are simply background noise to have something there when Sierra is not singing. The only thing to really compliment on is the synth/keys as they add atmosphere to the tracks, but even then they are not the best that is around right now.
By track five, “Stranger,” the listener should be ready to turn the album off as Sierra has almost no diversity in her delivery and there is nothing in the background to help keep your attention focused on the current track. What makes it worst is the fact that you see that the final track is seven minutes long. When you finally get to “Lost Trees” you realize that it takes parts from all those songs you just slogged through and adds them into the song.
Fixed At Zero is another victim of Disappointment 2010 and VersaEmerge is another victim of Paramore comparisons. Fixed At Zero sees the band stumbling on their first full length and maybe not ready to be on the main stage of the music world just yet. Sierra is one of the leading female vocalists out there right now, but the band behind her does not do anything to help or the band out as a whole. For now, stick with their EPs.
I can understand why people compare bands like Hey Monday and Tonight Alive to Paramore, to a degree, but with VersaEmerge there is, other than being a female-lead band, no comparison whatsoever. Also, the album was far from perfect but I loved the atmosphere of it, I'd have given it around an 80.
I really can't stand this obnoxiously sexist "girls only want to be in bands because of paramore" mindset that is so popular on this site. Like it is so ridiculous to think that a girl could just want to be in a band.
I don't think this is a good review for one main reason: you keep comparing VersaEmerge to Paramore (like most people do) when they sound nothing alike. This album is great. Lost Tree is probably one of the best songs of the year (top 3 for me).