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6 out of 10
VersaEmerge are a Florida based band who have recorded their new self-titled EP with James Paul Wisner (The Academy Is..., Underoath, Further Seems Forever, Paramore) for release through Fueled By Ramen and have toured with the likes of We The Kings, The Cab, The Maine and There For Tomorrow. Can you guess what they sound like? Well another clue is that their vocalist (female) Sierra Kusterbeck will struggle to avoid comparisons with Hayley Williams of Paramore. That should have the sound almost nailed.
Musically they are a different beast from Paramore, although from the same neck of the woods I'll admit, more rock out of pop-rock than the poppier sound of Paramore. Vocally though the apple really hasn't fallen far from the tree, which is a shame as if you didn't know Paramore had ever existed then VersaEmerge really stand on their own two feet as a well-rounded band.
The production from Paul Wisner is obviously pristine as per usual, with the right amount of sheen and oomph to highlight everything that he should be highlighting. The only thing missing from VersaEmerge as a band is a bit of soul. You can't help but feel that the entire outfit is a bit of a cashcow to chase the dollars. It simply isn't as gritty as it should be.
Taking more from Elliot Minor and touches of prog-rock/gothic guitars than the likes of Fall Out Boy there is a darker edge to the VersaEmerge sound than you might expect, and this is certainly welcome as another sugary-sweet female fronted band in the vein of Rosematter, Paramore, The Breakup, Zolof The Rock and Roll Destroyer, Robots & Butterflies or Medicated Kisses could be overkill. At times though they nudge in to Evanescence territory, which I don't need to tell you is a bad thing.
Overall though VersaEmerge are heading in the right direction and as a teaser for a potential full-length album this does the job (although not quite as well as it could have done) and I'll be keeping my eye on how they develop.
2. The Hider
3. Past Praying For
4. Moments Between Sleep