Album Review :
The Great Commission - Firework EP

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Band: The Great Commission
Album: Firework EP
Label: ANGR
Release: 5/22/12
Reviewer: Brody B

Tracklisting:

  1. When It Rains It Pours
  2. Draw the Line
  3. Weight of the World
  4. Road to Damascus
  5. Came to My Rescue (To Be Lifted High)
  6. Firework

I’m sure many of you are familiar with The Great Commission, the hardcore breakdown centric act that coined the term, “Heavy Worship”. For the release of Firework EP, however, the band tones things down considerably and chooses to lightly strum chords on acoustic guitars and use poppy vocals as opposed to the harsh growling and pummeling breakdowns they usually rely on.

Firework EP starts off with When it Rains it Pours”, an upbeat song that instantly brings to mind a campfire song as it offers not a hint of heaviness, but instead is filled with happily strummed chords and nasally, pop punk vocals. If this simple song does not have you tapping your toes, you might want to check to make sure your heart is still beating. The emphasis is shifted heavily toward to vocals for the whole release as male and female vocals trade off almost constantly and the guitars are somewhat pushed to the background. Came to My Rescue (To Be Lifted High)” stays pretty true to the original song done by Hillsong United except for the fact that the pace is picked up quite a bit. I instantly got the feeling that how this version of the song is presented, it would be great for a toned down youth group worship session. The only song featuring the full arsenal of instruments and screaming is “Firework”, originally done by Katy Perry. This is a super upbeat song, relying mostly on clean vocals, adding screams just for extra emphasis. Firework” is full of pop goodness with an abundance of gang vocals and power chords. This is sure to be a crowd favorite if the band decides to play it live. Anyone who is a fan of A Day to Remember will find something to dig in this cover.

While Firework EP has some fun to offer, there were a few things that grated on my nerves throughout. No matter how hard I tried, I could not get into the male vocals on this EP. Now I know this is all personal preference, but they came across as too nasally for me to handle and took away from my enjoyment of a lot of the songs. Also, one of the traits the band retains from their heavier music is the use of gang vocals. While I initially found it very unique and fun that the band would use gang vocals in acoustic songs, around my third time listening to the album, I found my patience wearing thin for them. I think if they were used more sparingly, the gang vocals would be a fantastic addition to the toned down songs, however, I felt they used them excessively, causing them to become mundane.

Overall: The Great Commission succeeds in making a fun EP that fans of theirs are sure to enjoy and that might open doors for more contemporary listeners to see what the band has to offer. While this EP has a few flaws that kept it from winning me over as a fan, it does peak my interest to see what the band will do with their next full length.

RIYL: The Great Commission, A Day To Remember, Acoustic pop

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