The Letter Black quickly became one of my favorite Christian rock bands after their May 2010 release Hanging On By A Thread. Featuring the title track and a whole handful of other radio singles and music videos, their debut was well accepted by Christian rock fans. The female-fronted rock band is working on a new project, but is holding their fans over with a twelve-track remix project, aptly titled Hanging On By a Remix.
Dubstep, electronic drums, and grunge guitars compose the remixes. Some of them are chaotic, some are fun, but all are fresh and creative. All of the remixed tracks also have appropriate subtitles. “Moving On,” for instance, the only song on the project to be remixed twice, features a remix titled “Moving On (Don’t Let the Door Hit You) Remix,” well titled as The Letter Black’s music as a whole addresses moving on from a hurtful relationship and forgiving your past.
The vocals are also kept original throughout the Hanging On By A Remix CD (none are re-recorded), but are freshly constructed. My favorite remix off the album, “My Disease” was actually leaked on The Letter Black’s Facebook page prior to release. The strong tempo and electronic effects in between verses makes it very bassy and a great track to blast through the speakers.
Though many of the remixes are chaotic, there are some very melodic and rocky ones. The “Wounded (Too Much Sweat On A Strobe Light Mix)” is adrenaline-packed, keeping the original screams but adding a more riveting drumbeat to it. The “Smooth Angel Mix” of “Collapse” is actually softer than the original, while “Hanging On By A Thread” has a fantastic live feel to it. Not what I expected at all, the track has acoustic guitars backing most of it, except for the DJ effects rippled throughout. I love the fresh take on this track that really can’t be compared as better or worse than the original, since it is so different.
I think most fans of The Letter Black will agree with me in saying that the originals are the best tracks off Hanging On By A Remix. “Dream On (Rapid Eye Movement Mix)” has a dreamy feel to it (surprise?) with a long, futuristic opening. It also has fantastic lyrics that encourage the listener to continue dreaming big. Another favorite of mine, “Better Luck Next Time (Guns Drawn Mix)” has an ambience twist to it. Though it is a bit chaotic, it sounds like a battle anthem, and thus is also appropriately titled. I also greatly admire Sarah and Mark Anthony’s mixed vocals.
All in all, The Letter Black has done a fine job with their first ever-remixed project. I think some fans will probably rather wait for a new project, especially if they are not big on dubstep and chaotic remixes, but diehard fans (which I am) will greatly enjoy The Letter Black’s fresh retakes on their own songs and others. Even if you aren’t planning on picking up this project, don’t miss the originals, especially “Dream On”!
Release date: May 22, 2012
1. Away From Me (Pitch Black and Paranoid Mix)
2. Moving On (Don’t Let the Door Hit You Mix)
3. All I Want (Berlin After Dark Mix)
4. My Disease (Dirty Lazer Mix)
5. Better Luck Next Time (Guns Drawn Mix)
6. Collapse (Smooth Angel Mix)
7. Wounded (Too Much Sweat On A Strobe Mix)
8. Fire With Fire (N.Y.C. Amyl Nitrate Mix)
9. Perfect (Painful Mix)
10. Dream On (Rapid Eye Movement Mix)
11. Hanging On By A Thread (Cut the Cord Mix)
12. Moving On (Mike D’s Knox-Vegas Mix)