Emarosa have had a tumultuous few years; unfortunately many bands that come to rely on Jonny Craig tend to follow a problematic course. Thankfully, the induction of former Squid The Whale vocalist Bradley Walden added some much needed stability to the band. Having now downsized to a quartet, Emarosa have released an EP of stripped down, re-mastered versions of some tracks from the record that re-launched the band after their line-up change: ‘Versus’.
Opening the EP is the new version of ‘Say Hello To The Bad Guy’, which really allows Walden to demonstrate the sheer level of control he has over his vocals. Even when the music crescendos, Walden refuses to be drowned out and powers over the top, ensuring he is the sole focus, especially at the more emotional moments of the track. This level of control is only made more apparent on later number ‘I’ll Just Wait’, which may be a lot more simplistic instrumentally, but still delivers the emotional message behind the track a lot more poignantly in this subdued atmosphere.
The track undergoing the most drastic change is the album’s lead single and fan favourite, ‘Mad’, which changes from the heaviest track on their album to a much calmer number. This transformation shifts the heated emotion of the track to an almost repressed undercurrent of anger, allowing Emarosa to get their message across but in a creative way so that the track maintains its integrity. The use of echoing, harmonising vocal feature is optimised on the new version of ‘Gold Dust’, an already vocally impressive track made only more so in its new instrumental atmosphere.
The ‘VS Reimagined’ EP does incredibly well at taking a successful new approach to the tracks, but the whole record feels as though frontman Bradley Walden is holding back throughout. Whilst he delivers each performance brilliantly, the feeling that if his musical environment allowed the power of his voice to shine through it would improve the record as a whole is forever present.
Written by Jon Barlow (@Narlow1)
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