Reviewed by: Sieto Kooijker
False Idle is back! Only a few months after the release of their full-length album, ‘Threat’ [Click here to see my review of False Idle: Threat], the band decided to record an acoustic EP. ‘California Or Bust’ EP is their first acoustic effort trying to re-vamp seven songs from both their latest album ‘Threat’ and their previous EP ‘I Refuse’.
The EP starts off with the song ‘Facade’ which originally appeared on their ‘Threat’ album and, to be honest, it is kind of a letdown. The acoustic version lacks the aggression, but mostly it misses the energy that the original song had captured. There are times when the song even sounds a bit messy. Unfortunately, it is not the only miss on the EP.
‘High Hopes’, which originally appeared on the ‘I Refuse’ EP, is slightly better than the previous song, but isn’t nearly as good as the original version. The turned-up bass, however, is a big win on High Hopes.
False Idle decided to do all things different with the song ‘I Refuse’. They not only turned this one into an acoustic track, but decided to go with an all instrumental version of the song. I’m not sure why and it doesn’t make sense to me. Somehow you can just hear that this song was never meant to be an instrumental track. Personally, I think they should have included the vocals.
Is ‘California Or Bust’ only a bust? No, that would be to harsh. The second half of the EP gets much better. ‘In The Dark’ is a nice acoustic effort and is the first acoustic version that actually works for me. They’ve managed nicely to keep the energy of the song alive. Also, with the song ‘Retaliate’, False Idle has tried to do something really different by completely re-working the song and managing to create some kind of outlaw-rock version of the song.
The first real stand-out for me is ‘Threat.’ It’s a song that really works well on acoustic. My guess is that they already noticed that when they created the intro of the song on the Threat album. It is a complete different version though.
Lastly, ‘California Or Bust’ ends with what might be the best song on EP; ‘Where Do We Go’. It is an excellent acoustic interpretation of the song that appeared on the Threat album. The song really has that sing-along feel. An accompanying music video was created using clips of their trip and show at the Thumper Punk Records Night from September 2013.
False Idle was able to create this acoustic EP thanks to the generous contributions of fans that helped them get down to the annual Thumper Punk Records night on September 2013. I cannot hide that I have mixed feelings about the ‘California Or Bust’ EP. I don’t think acoustics are the band’s strong suit, however, as I said, I really did enjoyed the second half of the album.
False Idle – “Where Do We Go?” (Acoustic) [Official Video]