Smith & Myers craft immaculate originals and compelling covers on Volume 1 & Volume 2

Half of Shinedown go acoustic on Smith & Myers' Volume 1 & Volume 2

Smith & Myers: Volume 1 & Volume 2
(Image: © Atlantic Records)

You can trust Louder Our experienced team has worked for some of the biggest brands in music. From testing headphones to reviewing albums, our experts aim to create reviews you can trust. Find out more about how we review.

Acoustic projects are a dime a dozen, but not many display the level of instantly accessible talent showcased on these two volumes by Zach Myers and Brent Smith, one half of Shinedown

It’s the no-brainer follow-up project to 2014’s two Acoustic Sessions EPs, and each volume comprises five originals and five fan-approved covers.

Volume 1 is possibly the stronger of the two, leading with Not Mad Enough – a compelling protest song written after the death of George Floyd – and Neil Young’s Rockin’ In The Free World, the tone intense and sombre. 

Their original tunes focusing on both personal and social issues are, unsurprisingly, immaculately crafted, while the other covers range from the eclectic (Billie Eilish’s Bad Guy) to the classic (Unchained Melody), and it all meshes together seamlessly as the duo wring every last ounce of emotion out of the material. Textbook, as they say.

Essi Berelian

Whether it’s magazines, books or online, Essi has been writing about rock ’n’ metal for around thirty years. He has been reviews editor for Classic Rock and Metal Hammer, rock reviews editor for lads mag Front and worked for Kerrang!. He has also written the Rough Guide to Heavy Metal and contributed to the Rough Guide to Rock and Rough Guide Book of Playlists, and the Guinness Book of British Hit Singles (13th edition). Most fun interview? Tenacious D – Jack Black and Kyle Gass – for The Pick of Destiny movie book. An avid record/CD/tape collector, he’s amassed more music than he could ever possibly listen to, which annoys his wife no end.