TesseracT made quite a splash in the djent scene with their debut last year, the aptly titled One. Though the album itself wasn't particularly impressive, it still struck a chord with a lot of listeners and garnered the band quite a following. It's no surprise they've rushed to produce something to follow it up, and that follow up is 2012's EP Perspective.
If there is one thing I cannot fault the band for, it's doing the same thing twice. Sure, the bulk of Perspective consists of rerecorded songs from One, but the band reimagines them with an “acoustic” set up (which basically means just acoustic guitars and lighter drums). I readily admit, that was a very unexpected surprise, but what's really interesting about Perspective is how well TesseracT's rhythmically-based djent sound actually translates into this instrumentation—the thick, muted strumming of acoustic guitars actually makes a good substitute for the downtuned, near atonal noise of eight-string guitars. Instead of just mere novelties, the rerecordings here are actually on par with their originals.
“Perfection” in particular sounds very good in this stripped-down instrumentation; being mostly an ambient, vocal-focused interlude means it doesn't have much to lose from the lighter guitars, but a lot to gain from the addition of, for example, a piano. “Origin” sounds a bit like it's straining at the bounds of its instrumentation, but it's still a startlingly effective interpretation. “April” is the only one of their rerecorded pieces that sounds a bit forced, especially with the heavy bass tuned up to shoehorn in the rhythm-heavy composition of the original, but even then the overall result is still pretty enjoyable.
In case you haven't noticed, TesseracT seem to go through vocalists faster than you can sneeze. I mention this because it makes the inclusion of “Eden 2.0” seem just a little bit silly, as unlike the other tracks, it's not rerecorded “acoustically” at all--it was just meant to be an update of a song from One with new vocalist Elliot Coleman after their old vocalist Daniel Tompkins had left the band. The thing is, as of this writing (about two months after its release), Elliot Coleman has already left the band himself. I guess at the time of its release it was more potent, but it still makes the entire thing feel much more dated than it actually is because of how superfluous it seems, especially considering how recently the EP was actually released. It also makes you wonder how bad the band hazing must be if they've had more vocalists than albums.
The only “new” track on the album is a cover of Jeff Buckley's “Dream Brother”. I'm not really sure how to judge it, given how very close to the original it is and how little of TesseracT's own voice actually shines through on the recording. The original is an amazing song, no doubt, but I always feel a bit gypped when a band doesn't take a few risks with their version. I understand the reverence for someone like Mr. Buckley, and if you like your covers faithful, then you'll probably like this one. It's a bit of a disappointment that TesseracT don't take a few more risks, however.
The digital download comes with instrumental versions of all the tracks, so if that's your thing, then hey, good on you, mate. I can't say listening to them brings any kind of fresh revelations on the music, but it's still a nice touch if you want to, I dunno, sing over them in the shower or mentally insert their previous vocalist. It's almost as if they already knew their lead singers would be this transient.
All in all, it's an okay EP from an okay band. It has some pretty good moments and it has some not as good moments, as well as a few other incredibly generic-sounding qualities. I'm seriously not trying to be lazy on the descriptors--that's just exactly how it sounds. Basically, if you liked them before, you'll like them now, and if you didn't like them before, you probably won't be sold this time. (Unless you're a big fan of math/acoustic folk covers, of course, in which case, congratulations on your oddly specific tastes!)
6.5 / 10
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