We open up the EP with the sole original track “Disgust Me” and it’s somewhat appropriate, like, you say it out loud, and the EP does its fucking best to do just that. With its hard-hitting percussion and deep, chugging riffs, coupled with Ash’s melodic vocals over a hook-laden chorus, its trademark NYD…balancing subtle gothic tendencies with a heavy, nu-metal aesthetic, getting the EP off to a decent albeit standard start. We follow that with the first of five covers…and we’re spanning a plethora of era’s and styles here. Naturally it’s fair as influence can come from all walks of life, but here, together, in this style…something just doesn’t quite gel. We begin with a cover of NEW ORDER’s “Bizarre Love Triangle” and gone are the quaint synths…gone are the soft vocals of Bernard Summer…instead we find crunching, disjointed riffs and Ash’s powerful vocal chords, backed with key changes, repetitive classic guitar licks and gang vocals. The whole thing comes across as copy and paste, looping itself as it ticks along and sadly lacks any of the originals charm.
We shift gears completely next up, as we dabble in a spot of metal via PANTERA classic “Fucking Hostile” and it kind of does what it says on the tin; the raw aggression carries through with Ash’s angrier vocals and they know how to deliver a riff, but it’s hard to see how this would go down with traditional metal fans…they’ll either respect you (Albeit resentfully) for covering it in the first place, or form a Wall Of Death that even Donald Trump would be in awe of, but aim TOWARDS the stage and trample you into the floor for doing so…they’re on thin ice here. Next up…and, oh god…we have “Crawling”…yes…THAT crawling, by LINKIN PARK. Now, let’s be honest, who hasn’t been inspired in some way by Linkin Park in recent generations? But, to attempt to cover such an iconic song is BRAVE! It totally lacks the original feel of the song, there’s no angst or passion, and sadly it comes across as really quite flat, which is a complete shame. Ash’s melodic vocals work here but as soon as the track shifts into gear, it just doesn’t compare; the pain is missing and the result is a hollow song.
The last couple of tracks include GARBAGE hit “Only Happy When It Rains”, which while originally an iconic 90’s indie rock hit, here, even aided by LZZY HALE, lacks any of the song’s original feel…not even the duel vocals here can match up to Shirley Manson and if anything just makes you cringe, before there is some level of redemption on closing track “Don’t Speak”. The NO DOUBT classic works well here as Ash really does justice to Gwen Stefani’s vocal style and with the metal touch musically it gives the track a new lease of life. Overall while it’s all well and good to want to pay respects to your hero’s and inspirations, it sometimes works better in theory rather than practice. Ash and NYD have a style and a sound that suits them, and some of the tracks covered here really don’t benefit from that sound at all. If anything I guess, it gives you a chance to go through the originals, and maybe discover some classics you may have missed, depending on your age and tastes…other than that, it’s an EP of interesting but sadly disappointing covers.