Jamie Rowe was formerly a member of Guardian, a Christian hard-rock/metal group that achieved some prominence in the early ’90s. I always lumped Guardian in with all of those other pretentious axe-slingers that put more emphasis on singing cheesy lyrics and getting their hair as big as possible than actually making relevant music. That stereotype, as fair or unfair as it may be, didn’t really prepare me for listening to The Beautiful EP.
Although there’s a bit of a hard emphasis on the music, mainly in Rowe’s vocals, the music is more in the vein of modern rock. It even veers off into heavy power pop in places. The album throws in some nice surprises, such as the processed solo in “Do You Know” or it’s swirling opener, “Let It Go.” “Amy (demo)” tries to go for a pop-punk feel, and succeeds, albeit in a “by the numbers” sort of way.
The EP is solid, though it feels overly dramatic and dated, even though it was only released in 1998. This sounds more like something that would’ve appealed to my high school youth group, or avid viewers of VH-1.