|Unplugged Creativity Abounds | Posted May 10, 2013
It's been an eventful two years for the guys known as rock group Remedy Drive. Starting off with the four Zach brothers in the late '90s, the guys earned a name for themselves in CCM after their 2008 debut, Daylight Is Coming, spawned several successful singles.
After three years of constant touring, 2011 brought several personnel changes to the group. On top of a label switch, three of the Zach brothers decided to depart and pursue other interests, leaving lead vocalist David Zach solo at the helm of Remedy Drive's future. Not wanting throw in the towel, Zach hired musicians Dave Mohr, Corey Horn and Timmy Jones to fill the vacant spots and further the band's musical legacy.
Their first effort as a "new act" of sorts was 2012's Resuscitate on Centricity Records. The album earned high marks from listeners and critics alike, and filmily established the band as a force to be reckoned with in the industry.
Coming just a year later is the exclusive digital release, Resuscitate: The Acoustic Sessions--an album which ruggedly strips the polish from all 10 tracks on their last effort and presents them at their rawest state.
The band's No. 1 single, "Better Than Life," starts things off and sets the rustic tone of the album nicely. While it doesn't quite hold the forceful, anthemic feel of the original, it's an enjoyable take on an already solid track.
"Lost Cause" is a perfect acoustic recreation of one of the band's best songs on Resuscitate. Serving as one of their most lyrically meaty pieces of work, the powerful chorus manages to take on a deeper meaning in its stripped down form: "I might be lost, I might be broken, but I'm not a lost cause."
A chunky bass line opens "Resuscitate Me." Much like the original, the song plays off a Switchfoot vibe in its punchy approach and grinding vocals. "God I Hope So" starts off a little too musically coarse, but builds momentum as it proceeds, adding the chilling essence of strings. It's not as strong as the studio version, but a valiant effort nonetheless.
The rough and funky musicianship on "What Are We Waiting For" takes center stage, while "Don't Forget" throws a folksy bone into the mix and livens up an album that is growing somewhat mellow.
"Make It Bright" follows along the same folk inspired lines as the previous, exchanging the distorted guitar sounds of the original for quirky banjos and acoustics. It holds its own nicely, and becomes a track that might even be stronger than the studio rendition.
Going raw once more is the reflective and brilliantly mixed "Crystal Sea." Void of any bells and whistles, it focuses more on the introspective message regarding the pain-free promise of heaven: "When there's nothing else left to break, we still have a song to sing, we'll sing / When there's no more fear, no more ache, standing by the crystal sea, you and me, we'll sing…"
"Glory" fails to live up to its exciting studio counterpart, but is more than made up for on the closing track, "Hold On." Another well-produced track with a shinier arrangement, it is an additional improvement on an already great song, tying up all 10 tracks suitably.
It's safe to say Remedy Drive is one of the most underrated acts in Christian music. Creativity abounds in this talented foursome, and whether they are meeting tape with screeching guitars or a heartfelt ballad, there is always something to be taken away from their music--The Acoustic Sessions being no exception.
The album feels under-produced at times, mostly in the case of instrumentation stifling David Zach's vocals, but with an album of this sort, production hiccups are both inevitable and permissible. I would've enjoyed seeing a few old Remedy Drive songs thrown into the mix just to switch things up a bit, but overall, this project is carried out well, and will certainly please longtime fans and those enjoyed Resuscitate.
Song To Download:
"Make It Bright"
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