Metal has been my least favorite genre for a good time now. I don’t know what it is about it that completely turns me off, but rarely do I ever find myself enjoying anything within the genre. But, on the rare occasion that I do, the band I fall for is always incredibly mainstream, doesn’t scream all of the time and “shreds” little to no times. So it shouldn’t come to you as much of a surprise that I have given Flyleaf’s debut EP a positive rating. Flyleaf are just about as close to a Pop group as a Metal band can get. For one, their singer Lacey Mosley is a woman. This will [almost] automatically bring up comparisons to Flyleaf’s much more successful contemporaries in the female fronted Pop Metal genre, Evanescence. These comparisons are not entirely in vain though, as the two bands do sound similar. The much less famous, much less female backing bands both play similar de-tuned, Nu-Metalish music, despite Flyleaf’s lack of a pianist but that isn’t what draws the comparisons. Lacey (you decide whether it is unfortunate or not) doesn’t sing like Amy Lee. She doesn’t have that kind of powerful, obviously female voice. Instead Lacey has the ability to screech her heart out (again you can decide whether this is unfortunate or not).
Yes, despite being an Indie fan, I can appreciate a good screech every once in a while. And one way I get my fill of this is by semi-religiously listening to Cassie
. Beginning with a blood-curdling scream, Cassie is both the best written song on the EP and the most rocking. The EP as a whole is very guitar heavy, but peaks at Cassie’s chorus, where you can hear Lacey’s pained shouts of Do you believe in God/Written on the bullet/ Say yes to pull the trigger
. While it may not be obvious at first, Cassie is about Columbine and how a girl (named Cassie) was asked if she believed in God before being shot and how, by saying yes, she became a sort of martyr. While the choruses may be the heaviest part on the album, the rest of Cassie is far from that. The verses are very bass driven and at times don’t even have guitar in them. The bridge, an atmospheric buildup of affected guitar solos and quiet bass lines, is also considerably different. Cassie is destined to become the best song on Flyleaf’s debut LP, but for now at this time it is far and away the best song on the EP.
Any previous fans of Flyleaf’s debut LP may have already noticed a turn off to the EP’s tracklist: all of the songs reappear on the LP. While this is true, it should be noted that all of the tracks are different. Despite both being released on the same label, the EP has a much lower quality to the recording. The band also sounds noticeably younger, like instead of being a perfectly produced band poised for commercial success they are a home-recorded garage band with somewhat of a cult following at the local high school. As a result of this time difference, Lacey’s vocals are considerably less flamboyant. Her voice doesn’t make as many bends in tone and overall isn’t as unique as it is on the LP. In my opinion, this makes the band sound better, particularly on Red Sam
. In the LP version, it was the over produced, metallic guitars and Lacey’s voice that turned me off but, with those aspects gone Red Sam’s atmospheric verses and rocking choruses make for quite the great song. And like Cassie, Red Sam’s lyrics aren’t about the usual teenage girl topics lyrics like “Wishing my wrists were bleeding/ To stop the pain from the beatings”
tell about how Lacey’s mom used to abuse her, and Lacey thought the only way out was death. And then she finds god in lyrics like "The warmth of your embrace/ Melts my frostbitten spirit/You speak the truth and I hear it/The words are I love you/And I have to believe in you"
. All in all, Red Sam is great song to begin the EP.
While this EP could be considered worthless to someone who already owns the LP, it’s a great listen for someone who wants to hear how the band began. For some people, me included, this EP will seem better than the LP. This is due to the fact that Lacey’s vocals are much more accessible and normal and that this EP contains three brilliant songs and only one “just alright” song (The bland I’m Sorry
), unlike the LP which contains a hell of a lot more “just alright” songs. Overall, the only thing Flyleaf’s real debut is missing is the I’m So Sick
(which is contained on another version of the EP and is the first single and first track on the full length) and the brilliant So I Thought
(last track on the full length).