Review by Dillon Crader
Jake Mcelfresh, rather known as Front Porch Step, plans to release his EP Whole Again on Pure Noise Records on December 2nd. Jake’s lyrical genius has brought him a huge following over the past year as has touring on the acoustic basement on Warped Tour as well as the Pure Noise Records Tour. Jake’s rise to success has definitely lead to this highly anticipated EP.
The first song on Whole Again, “A lovely Mess,” is your typical heart heartaching track from Front Porch Step. The lyrics are brilliant as always, but what really blew me away was how much Jake’s sound has matured. The guitar in the track doesn't seem too generic, repetitive or similar compared to other tracks from Front Porch Step’s previous album, Aware. The second track, “ Heaven Sent,” is very soft and pretty. The song is very strong, but my only complaint would be the guest vocals, as the tone of Ace Enders’ voice just isn’t something I thought fit well on a Front Porch Step track. The vocals definitely don’t sound bad by any means, but they just weren’t what I would expect. The rest of the song is great, though - the guitar picking is gorgeous, the vocal harmonies between Mcelfresh and Enders later in the track are nice, and of course, it hosts some really brilliant and powerful lyrics.
The next track, “I’ll Be Home For Christmas”, is probably one of the best Christmas covers I have heard in the “scene”. It doesn’t sound too different from the original version but as always, Jake’s voice is calming in this song, which gives it a very homey feeling (which I think every Christmas song should have.) I think the cover is a great choice that fits Jakes voice very well, especially with this EP dropping just in time for the holiday season.
The last track on the EP, “Whole Again,” is by far the best track on the release. The song gradually builds with more and more instruments, which is awesome to see Front Porch Step utilize (similar to Into It. Over It.) It’s great to finally hear the “full” band of Front Porch Step rather then just an acoustic guitar. This song is amazing and completely surprised me when I first listened to it - I couldn’t get enough of it.
Overall, Whole Again is a strong effort. While I wasn’t entirely moved by the first two tracks, the “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” cover and the last track “Whole Again,” are what really made this EP for me. Whole Again promises to be a great listen listen for any old Front Porch Step fans, as well as any newer listeners.
Listen to "Whole Again"