Perceptions EP

Written by: TL on 19/01/2009 12:29:35

Considering the massive influence bands like Saosin and Circa Survive have had on the scene, I guess it was only a matter of time before we had a band come out sounding like them, only with a female vocalist. Some might think SACRILEGE at the mere thought, while others like I will find the notion of a female singer taking points from the great Anthony Green a fascinating concept at the very least. The former may cast their curses now and be gone, while the latter remain with me in my presentation of VersaEmerge's five track debut "Perceptions EP" of August last year.

My intro pretty much gives the review away though. This is five tracks of your standard Saosin/Circa Survive imitation and you may insert more bands like Secret And Whisper, In:Aviate and so on at your own leisure. Soaring guitar melodies, oscillating keys and added synth effects for atmosphere is the order of the day, and things are organized into fairly simple song structures, all of it aiming at the same dreamy but emotionally intense soundscape as the bands that have obviously influenced this one.

What obviously set them apart from the rest of the pack, is the inclusion of their new singer Sierra Kusterbeck. The haters might say that she's a poor copy of Hayley Williams (Paramore), but while I don't want to slack off Hayley and her performance, I'm going to go ahead and claim that this girl has got something more to offer. And that more comes in form of her delivery, because while her voice and tone might be something we've heard a billion times before, hearing a woman bend and extend notes the way we're pretty much only used to hearing Mr. Green and Mr. Reber (Circa Survive/Saosin) do it quite simply make both her and her band instantly more interesting.

Wrap this all up into songs like the opening "In Pursuing Design" and we would have ourself a winner alright. Unfortunately, at this early point in their career, VersaEmerge do not manage to gear all the way up to full momentum just yet. Because as a record "Perceptions EP" has some of the same slight hitches in its step that has hindered Secret & Whisper and Emarosa in the past, namely that while the band has found an awesome sound, they lack the skill to consistenly weave it into song's that have the kick their style would hint. "In Pursung Design" is great, but "Consider The Sea" and "Clocks" never really strike as deep, and another thing is that maybe having both a 30 second intro and two pseudo-songs (~2 minutes in lenght) that seem mostly like atmospheric pieces, on a 7 track EP, isn't the best way to ensure a favourable filler/killer ratio. Be that as it may, this is a brand new lineup and they're still only just finding their feet and have plenty of time to evolve, and given how their next EP is only about a month away, they're definetely a band to watch out for at the moment. As for this particular record, fans of especially Secret And Whisper shouldn't hesitate to get it, while disciples of Circa' and Emarosa might wait untill VersaEmerge have learnt to refine their stuff a bit better.


Download: In Pursuing Design, The Authors
For The Fans Of: Secret And Whisper, Circa Survive, Emarosa, Eyes Set To Kill

Release Date 19.08.2008

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