Review Summary: 4 karaoke classic rock songs and an asking alexandria song <
For the life of me, I can't work out why Asking Alexandria, who KNOW they are nothing more than a chugtrain outfit, keep dragging classic rock into their 'DNA'. I've seen plenty of interviews where the band says they are spurred on by old glam/hard rock bands, and that AA will be packing out stadiums in years to come. They have managed to open up for Guns n Roses in the last couple of years, which brings an image of a crowd that consists of 50% mustache-laden men and 50% 14 year old girls to mind. 0% fun.
After releasing Stand Up & Scream, they released Life Gone Wild, an EP with 2 Skid Row Covers (which turned out to be quite decent), 2 dubstep remixes (which turned out to be dog***), a demo version of I Was Once, Maybe, Possibly, Perhaps a Cowboy King (which was awful) and a new song which was on the following studio album. They've managed to repeat this cycle, this time with the EP containing 4 classic rock covers and a new song, presumably a taster from the upcoming album they've rustled up at Sturgis towers.
Here I Go Again is first, and while you may expect the band to actually make it their own and give the vocals a harsh makeover, that's far from reality. What you get, is Danny Worsnop trying to make the song sound as close to the original as possible. In fact, with the exception of slightly beefier (lol) backing instrumentation, and the use of almost midi-quality synths, it sounds like the band wanted to be as carbon-copy as they could be. The only song that Danny's voice works for is Hysteria, but only because he's less raspy in this track and sounds like he's giving it some time and effort. It does sound like he's recording it on a dictophone at times though. The problem I have (and what I expect many other people will have) is just how different these covers are to the REAL Asking Alexandria. It's almost bait n switch. A Skid Row fan might listen to their cover of 18 Gone Wild from Life Gone Wild and enjoy it because it's a good cover, try an actual AA song and get greeted by the likes of The Match or one of those horrible dubstep tracks off Stepped Up & Scratched, which nobody wants.
The last track, Run Free, is the actual AA song on the EP, and it's nothing new. It's slightly improved over the formula they used for Reckless & Relentless, but it's still breakdown city and the clean chorus is just a grey slab of nothingness. Solid instrumentation, and the verses aren't bad at all, but it's not enough to salvage this car-crash of an album that needs a good towing off the road by the AA. Heh, it's funny. They both deal with breakdowns.