Review Summary: Hayley Williams meets Anthony Green!!
VersaEmerge straight up excite me, no doubt about it. Why? The only suitable answer I can come up with is ‘they plain do’. Figures. Forming some time whilst still in high school they started off things with the unremarkable, pop-tinged post-hardcore Cities on Sand EP
in 2005. However, soon after original vocalist Spencer Pearson left, replaced eventually by a certain Sierra Kusterbeck who soon re-recorded the bands first EP in 2007. 2008 swings round and the band release Perceptions
, a seven track EP designed (I’m sure) to give me something to fidget in my pants too.
Of the seven tracks three are basically throw away filler - a thirty second intro that builds into the first track - a two minute outro and a two minute passage in the middle of the EP made up of swirling electronics and atmospheric guitar with the occasional gang vocal. However, the four songs we do have on display here are absolutely killer. Personal favourite ‘In Pursuing Design’ is chock-a-block soaring melodies, huge rhythm and oh heck killer vocals. You see Sierra sounds a bit like everybody’s favourite hot young Paramore singer Hayley Williams. And when you’re in a band playing a similar style of pop rock then there is always going to be comparisons. Kusterbeck, although maybe not quite as strong a natural vocalist (although nearly as hot just saying), manages to nearly better her counterpart by ‘bending’ and crooning her voice almost Anthony Green-esque with astonishing results. Her powerful and dare I say it …beautiful voice pushes the band forward and manages to raise them another level. Hail the charismatic front man (or front woman in this case).
The music itself is more Circa Survive/Saosin than Paramore, so maybe not totally innovative but definitely very fu
cking good. Take a fistful of soaring melody, a solid rhythm and powerful electronic/synth work all combining in an atmospheric pop rock style with a tilt towards the dreamy but emotionally intense; all topped with hot half Williams half Green vocals and you have this album. Infectious and sexy this is most certainly worth your time.