EP: Stripped Of Solace
Release Date: Coming Soon
Label: Self Released
Review by John
It’s nothing new for a rock band to give their songs an acoustic polish, but over the years there have probably been as many examples where it wasn’t really a good idea as when it has worked well.
Thankfully, this is one of the occasions where it is very definitely a good idea. Leicestershire’s Resin have always been adept at remodelling their songs to work acoustically, and are always well worth catching doing an acoustic set if you ever get the chance.
This EP follows hot on the heels of their last album ‘The Cycle Of Need’, and includes reworkings of two of the tracks from that album, plus two from their debut ‘Embrace The Fall’.
What is noticeable here is just how much the addition of violin expands the band’s sound. As on their last album, it is never overused and is incorporated perfectly with the existing material.
Starting with ‘Carpe Diem’ is an inspired move, as it’s one of their older songs and never quite gets the recognition it deserves. Frontman Dave Gandon does a great job vocally (even more impressive given that he didn’t sing on the original), and the whole song has a beautifully haunting quality that lends itself perfectly to an acoustic sound.
Next up is ‘Clouds’ which will be more familiar to newer listeners as, aside from appearing on ‘The Cycle Of Need’, also appeared twice on their debut, with one of these being an acoustic version. Far from simply recycling what has gone before, the version found here has a fresher, cleaner sound that engages the listener on an emotional level, tugging at the heartstrings with aplomb. It also showcases the extra dimension that Gandon’s vocals have brought to Resin’s sound.
Another older track, ‘Fallen’ is next, and if you’re familiar with the original then you’ll be reminded of just how good and powerful a song this is, and possibly even wonder why it isn’t heard more often. Again, the violin provides an extra dimension with its almost ethereal backing, and you realise that, while some bands would use such things a a mere gimmick, Resin allow it to breathe and add new life to their overall sound. ‘Fallen’ was always a beautiful song – here it is simply phenomenal.
Final track ‘Open Heart Trauma’ is one of the band’s heavier numbers, so wouldn’t immediately suggest itself to an acoustic sound but, once again, it proves to be an inspired choice with none of the power of the original lost in this stripped back format.
As pointed out earlier, bands going acoustic doesn’t always work. But this is a band that have always embraced that side of their music and as acoustic sessions go, they don’t come much better than this. It deserves to be held in the same regards as some of the all time MTV Unplugged sessions – and by this I mean Pearl Jam, Nirvana and Alice In Chains. It really is that good.
Haunting, ethereal, grungy. Now how about an acoustic tour?
9 out of 10
1. Carpe Diem
4. Open Heart Trauma