Review Summary: "Fixed at Zero could have used a bit more of the mystery and drama that made the band intriguing in the first place".
VersaEmerge understands the importance of working as a body, as clearly evident in the band’s musical career. Since they keep the big picture in mind, songs are written to incorporate all the parts as opposed to focusing on only one aspect. There are literally no weak spots in the album, and if there are, they are purely accidental. One theory to describe the album’s perfection would be that aliens with a superior intellect molded this album; it seems impossible for a human to craft such a perfect album. Imagine if every band meshed together as well as VersaEmerge does – a new era of music would dawn upon the Earth.
This is an album that showcases the band’s confidence in their abilities. The drummer bashes beasts boldly, the lead guitarist strums chords suitably, and even the bass guitarist plays well (although his presence is barely noticeable in the album, which is a common problem for most bass guitarists)! However, let us not forget the lead singer, Sierra Kusterbeck. Her vocals are boisterous to the maximum degree, punching in walls and breaking glass windows. Since the band itself lacks aggression, her vocals give this album a necessary dose of raw power. Such as it is, this is a rather simple album, and the lead guitarist often opts to play casually as long as melody is emphasized in the process. However, the guitarist still occasionally plays juicy riffs, as noted in the album-titled track.
As one could imagine, the problem with the album’s perfection is the monotony. Although the songs are all wonderfully written, the occasional flourishes of synthesizers are not enough to keep the listener interested. Tracks are all too familiar, with barely anything to differentiate them save for a smidgen of electronics. The band is too ordinary for their own good, and is easily overshadowed by their big sister, Paramore. Perhaps they are less original than given credit for, but this gripe seems childish considering that they still do what they do well. Basically, they are like Paramore but with a bit more drama, a bit more electronics, and a bit more strings. This formula creates the flow of the album, and produces beautifully melodic tunes. It also results in completely predictable songs, and thus, to receive the full effect of the music, tracks should be listened to separately.
VersaEmerge’s Fixed at Zero is a perfectly acceptable debut album, but it is also lacking. Interesting experiments, which were present in their EPs, are now integrated in ways that make them forgettable. Fixed at Zero could have used a bit more of the mystery and drama that made the band intriguing in the first place. However, this is still an entirely catchy album and a great debut for the finally emerged band, VersaEmerge. The band is clearly on the correct track, and it would take a jet crash to knock them over now.
- Figure It Out
- Fixed At Zero
- You’ll Never Know
- Fire (Aim Your Arrows High)