|Hanging On By A Remix | Posted May 22, 2012
The Letter Black splashed onto the rock circuit back in 2009 after a successful stint on Skillet’s “Awake and Alive” tour, garnering them a fast fan base among both faith based and secular outlets, much like counterparts Red, Thousand Foot Krutch and Icon For Hire.
Following the tour, the female fronted band comprised of current members Sarah Anthony, husband Mark Anthony, Matt Beal and Taylor Carroll, released their debut album, Hanging On By A Thread, to high accolades from listeners and critics alike.
After it’s initial success and another major tour with TFK, the group released a digital EP known as the Hanging On By A Thread Sessions, mixing a few new tunes, popular singles, and bonus remixes. As is the case with any group with a loyal following, fans ate it up, which led to the quick release of a second project of the same sort.
With an almost three year gap in between albums, the band, who is currently recording their sophomore project, decided to whet the appetites of faithful listeners with their latest release, Hanging On By A Remix. The album takes songs off of their debut release and spins them into something fresh and different for fans to enjoy.
“Away From Me (Pitch Black And Paranoid Mix)” starts this project off on a electronically dark note with it’s thick bass and twisted synth strings. The lyrics come as a blatant statement to darkness of the world, saying it has no place in our lives as we break forth and choose to live in freedom.
“Moving On (Don’t Let The Door Hit You Mix)” takes one of the groups rawest songs and gives it a gritty pop flair. Lyrically, it’s my least favorite of their songs, but will definitely become one of the favorite remixes on the record. “All I Want (Berlin After Dark Mix)” channels Flyleaf lyrically while maintaining a solid nightclub beat.
“My Disease (Dirty Laser Mix)” begins with downright haunting whisper vocals you’d think would build up into an epic rock track, but rather, take a turn and swing into a full on pop tune. It’s one of the best beats on the record from a remix standpoint.
“Better Luck Next Time (Guns Drawn Mix)” and “Collapse (Smooth Angel Mix)” both carry a low profile techno tune before diving right back into the intensity with “Wounded (Too Much Sweat Mix.)” The song talks about taking back our right to live after being victimized the cruelties of life, and although it isn’t my favorite on the record, it ranks high merits for keeping it’s solid message between the chaotic background beats.
“Fire With Fire (N.Y.C. Amyl Nitrate Mix)” takes one of the group’s most popular songs, but does little change it musically, while “Perfect (Painful Mix)” becomes a quirky yet subtle moment of adoration to God, transitioning almost flawlessly into a well executed remix of Aerosmith’s legendary 70’s track, “Dream On (Rapid Eye Movement Mix.)” It’s an unconventional addition to say the least, but will for sure strike a chord with their mainstream listeners.
“Hanging On By A Thread (Cut The Chord Mix)” takes what is easily the bands most recognizable song and strips it down into an acoustic-meets-electronic fusion mix. It’s highly original and showcases yet again the brilliance in this song, both musically and lyrically.
Bringing the project to a close is yet another remix of the song “Moving On (Mike S_ Knox-Vegas Mix.)” It feels a little forced, considering they already have a splendid remix of this song earlier on the album, and takes the project in a heavier rock direction than the rest of it. It’s still a nice addition, just somewhat unnecessary.
It’s been said that The Letter Black is the perfect musical combination of Evanescence’s haunting moodiness and Paramore’s in-your-face angst. Hanging On By A Thread proved that to be true, but with Hanging On By A Remix, it showcases a different side of the band few have yet to see--their untapped versatility. Not only are they able to knock out a smoking rock track, but if they were to ever choose to incorporate some of the techno themes currently dominating radio, mainstream and Christian alike, this is a prime example that they could not only pull it off, but pull it off well.
Fans of The Letter Black’s harder edge might not appreciate this project as some other will, seeing as it does loose some of it’s grittiness in the often quirky mixes. Regardless, this is a fantastic remix project full of enough high energy twists and turns to keep you coming back for more. Dedicated fans of the band will want to definitely not want to miss this.
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