Versus The Mirror’s debut release on Equal Vision Records is one of the finest live albums to be released in a while. Wait, what--it's not a live album? Oh, then, um... it still has a lot to offer.
         I love hardcore. It's primarily what I listen to--that and metal--but when you sign to a pretty big label like Equal Vision and don’t utilize the tools to make your CD sound coherent, I have to wonder what you’re doing.
         This band has so much potential, because this recording is essentially a live band playing in a club somewhere and recording it, which makes me think that they are one hell of a live act, but sadly, it just doesn’t transfer to CD format.
         I checked out the band's bio on making this record and they said something along the lines that every CD in this genre that has been released sounded to “professional,” to which I answer... no crap. So, the band decided to try to be edgy and use older amps and recording devices when making the record.  It is a good idea, if you’re an emo band or just playing a bunch of instrumentals. 
         The guitars, drums, and bass come across very warm here, and that is a homage to the use of older amps and recording devices. Music just sounds warmer in those formats; why, I have no idea, but it does. But the singer's voice on those is completely off base. As he screams along to the warm guitars it sounds like his voice is echoing and throwing the melody off.  It didn’t make me hate the album as much as it bothered me, because I really wanted to like what I was hearing, because the music is so good. 
         I respect the band immensely for trying something new here. We need more out-of-the-box thinkers like them, but they have to realize that while they are thinking out there, the record still needs to sound good. I don't know how this CD could have been released with the lead singer's voice being so choppy and fragmented.
         As much as I love the music, I can’t get past the poor recording of the singer's voice. They should have used a professional recording booth for his voice and melded the two.  Then you would have had an amazing album, because right know you have half-amazing, half-not so good.  Maybe they'll make it big, re-record, re-release and satisfy the part of me that wants to love this album. Until then, I really can't say that I would spend ten dollars on this.
...
N.B. '06
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