Anyone who is a fan of The Great Commission may be really surprised that they even considered making acoustic music, much less recorded a EP of it. The Firework EP is named after the sole metal track, a cover of Katy Perry’s hit single “Firework.” The Great Commission are well known for being one of the heaviest Christian hardcore bands ever. You can read my review of their last full length Heavy Worship here: http://mindequalsblown.net/2011/08/13/the-great-commission-heavy-worship/
The first track is “When It Rains It Pours,” which was also one of the faster paced tracks on their full length. Clean vocalist Victor Cota and the rest of the band do an excellent job in converting this brutal hardcore into easy-to-digest acoustic chunks. Angela Razo really comes out of her shell as a legitimate vocalist for the band as her tone is more than fitting for these sessions. Having the acoustic guitars naturally takes away the same sort of impact the original has, but it’s done well nonetheless.
Cota and Razo go for a duet in “Draw the Line” as something that not just any other hardcore band could do in an acoustic setting. While this track was a favorite of Heavy Worship, it reaches an entirely new pedestal when Razo sings the lines “I can’t do this on my own anymore/ I gotta find the strength to believe.” This song has been completely re-invented when played acoustically.
As for the cover of “Firework,” it’s apparent that the acoustic sessions have helped them write their music in a different way. Cota plays a much larger role in the cover as compared to the vocal chord shredding of Justin Singh’s lows. Cota takes over the chorus and many of the verse lines, but Singh’s parts are really good. The music is really lacking in the heaviness, but this may be due to a lack of equipment available. Heavy Worship was recorded on three stacks of sound, and this doesn’t have that. It almost reaches into pop punk territory thanks to Cota’s clean vocals.
While this EP was an interesting idea and was actually good, bands of this heavy magnitude run a risk of alienating their fans if they record acoustic songs or record such poppy covers like Katy Perry. Angela Razo really outdid herself, and it would be awesome to see her release some material that better expresses her vocal abilities outside of The Great Commission. Catch them on this year’s Scream The Prayer Tour with Demon Hunter, Emery, Sleeping Giant, Mychildren Mybride, and more.