Jamie’s Elsewhere – Reimagined EP
Over the last seven years, post-hardcore hopefuls Jamie’s Elsewhere have been through a seemingly never-ending array of lineup changes, with founding guitarist Matt Scarpelli the only constant. In 2008, however, they found their franchise player in vocalist Aaron Pauley. The singer’s pure talent and keen melodic sense—first showcased on the group’s 2010 sophomore release, They Said A Storm Was Coming—instantly brought a respectability to a band many of the Auto-Tuned synth-mosh/crabcore/dub-polka bands out there only wish they could command. On their new Reimagined EP—a six-song teaser with four stripped-down versions of Storm tracks and two new cuts—once again Pauley shines, making the prospect of a future new full-length record all the more enticing.
Since Storm, Jamie’s Elsewhere lost two more members—drummer Scott Daby and rhythm guitarist Mike Wellnitz, who’ve both yet to be replaced—but it’s clear the band’s creative nucleus not only remains, but is actually experiencing an artistic breakthrough. These reinterpretations of the past material and the new tracks exhibit the highest level of maturity from the band yet. Although the buzz surrounding the EP had it hyped as an acoustic album, it’s really just a less-metalcore version of past outings. On multiple levels, Reimagined is a superb example of addition by subtraction.
Standout tracks from Storm such as “Giants Among Common Men” (reworked as “Let’s Pretend That We’re Giants”) and “The Mapmaker” (redone as “I’ll Make My Peace And Sink”) forgo the shredding and synth-laden originals in favor of greater nuance and moodiness, with thick, somber guitar passages from Scarpelli that at times recall Senses Fail ca. Life Is Not A Waiting Room. Between the pleasing simplicity of the arrangements and the total lack of screaming, Reimagined is the perfect vehicle for Pauley to shine. He belts each note with a fire and conviction that’s downright inspiring. The two new songs—strummy ballad “Out Of Love” and the dynamic “Heavy Eyelids, Heavy Heart” (which builds beautifully)—also confirm that Jamie’s Elsewhere are only getting started.