Heartless Breakers – ‘Lighter Doses’ EP (Review)

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Last year, ex-Daytrader guitarist Matt Mascarenas showed the world that death, however sad and unexpected, has the potential to bring new life. After the split of the promising emo quintet back in November 2012, Mascarenas soon set his sights on starting a new project with fellow band members Chase Griffis and Bryan Lee – a project which would come to be known as Heartless Breakers. The band released their first EP back in July of last year entitled Prescriptions, a universally welcomed first impression for anyone left wanting either a sense of closure from Daytrader’s departure, or looking for something new to slip into their iPod rotation.

The band is back two weeks into the New Year with their new EP Lighter Doses, which serves a dual purpose: To give fans an acoustic reimagining of tracks they came to enjoy last summer, as well as to showcase some newer material, thereby giving audiences a taste of what’s next. As far as transitionary records go, Lighter Doses is a winner in the sense that the source material already possessed an admirably softer quality, making it a logical next step to give it the acoustic treatment. Not only that, but the newer material (while shorter than expected) does give a pleasant look into the future of Heartless Breakers.

“Bitter Melodies” does the best job of portraying this. The song shows how the band strips the original material of its bolder, anthemic quality, giving the track new meaning with a lighter approach. “Daily Restraint” is a close second for the way it gives Griffis’ vocal style a place to shine, especially when delivering some of the EP’s best lyrics. When looking at the newer material, I immediately fell head over heels in love with “Burn & Bury.” Though only clocking in at 1:26, its straight-forward approach and ending gang vocals will leave you wanting so much more by its close.

When looking at Lighter Doses as a whole, it’s an acoustic version that not only does its original material justice, but a good majority of the time, it improves on it. Does every single track transfer over well? Not necessarily. However, when the band has an idea or version of the material that succeeds, both old or new, they hit bullseyes. With that said, if you’re looking for some newer acoustic tracks to cure your ills, trust me, Heartless Breakers is the best medicine.