Formed in 2015, Bad Omens has created a beautiful, enrapturing sound that has intrigued the masses since their self-titled 2016 debut album. Following up with the immersive Finding God Before God Finds Me in 2019, now they offer the surprise release of the FGBGFM Unplugged EP on Thursday, October 29, 2020 via Sumerian Records.
Coming amidst the COVID-19 crisis of 2020, the EP is a carefully selected mix of six songs from the aforementioned Finding God Before God Finds Me, but reimagined in a more stripped down manner. Compelling merely in concept alone, as the original recordings are quite heavy and robust in sound, does it actually work?
It all starts with “Never Know,” a song filled with patient strumming guitar and lush vocals compliments of Noah Sebastian. With poetic, concise lyrics such as, “You could call it paradise, but it looks just like Hell to me,“ alongside drowsy drums, and infinite guitars, it builds a world of airy ambience. Then, a folksy rip and tear of acoustic guitar fills the air on “Limits,” as a kicking drum beat meets the pace before the guitars and a background of swirling timbre. Highlighted again by the vocals, Sebastian’s breathy, full vocals soars with ease.
Moving forward, “Mercy” is a slow-paced composition with lyrical, uplifting piano and angelic vocalizations. On the other end of the spectrum, Bad Omens keep you guessing and kick it up a notch with “Burning Out” as the percussion rattles and hums, with rhythmic clapping composing most of the instrumentation. Then they wrap it all up with a new edition of “If I’m There” that eases its way into your heart with a warm and truthful sound.
With FGBGFM Unplugged Bad Omens maintain the intensity and authenticity of the original recordings, but with a softer tone. FGBGFM Unplugged is full of ease and care from the flawless vocals of Noah Sebastian to the meticulous flow of the guitars. While drums and percussion are seldom used, when they are, it is exceptionally executed with every bit of the composition. Offering another wrinkle in the story of Bad Omens, Cryptic Rock gives FGBGFM Unplugged 5 out of 5 stars.