Review: Devastated Twitch streamer makes his return with bittersweet EP

A review of Mitch Jones’s “If I Could Go Back”


by Paul Hyatt, Feature Editor

Mitch Jones 

In July 2020, the devastating suicide of beloved streamer Byron “Reckful” Bernstein shook the Twitch and gaming community. The news hit friend and fellow streamer Mitch Jones especially hard. He quit streaming on his main account and kept a low profile.   

For those unaware, Mitch Jones was a top ten streamer on Twitch, boasting 580,000 followers who tuned in to watch him play World of Warcraft for about a decade. Jones said that the death of his friend left him with “seemingly untreatable depression” that left him unable to stream.   

Fortunately, Jones has resurfaced in 2021, showcasing the outlet he has used to cope and take control of his life once again — music.   

“If I Could Go Back” 

Collaborating with producer, musician and instrumentalist Kurtis “Kala” Lloyd, Jones released his first EP, “If I Could Go Back,” nearly a year after Reckful’s death.  

The EP holds six songs and only takes less than 20 minutes to listen through. That being said, I have listened to this EP numerous times since its release. 

Surprisingly, even with such a short runtime, I never experienced the listening fatigue that usually hits me after listening to the same songs on repeat for a while. The more I listened through the EP, the more I was able to consume and appreciate the raw emotion and transparent pain Jones emphasized through his lyrics — many of these had to do with Reckful’s suicide and Jones’ coping process through that period of time.  

“Time Machine,” the opening track of the EP, sets the melancholy yet turbulent tone that encompasses the whole EP. The lyrics speak to Jones’ struggle with the impossible wish that he had a time machine to change the course of history that brought him to misery, including keeping his friend alive. One of Jones’ goals for putting out this EP was to “save people who are struggling,” and this track coincides with that goal well, as many who experience loss are haunted by similar thoughts.  

“Now That You’re Gone,” the EP’s closing track and the only one to mention Reckful directly, serves as a tribute to his late friend. The pain is not gone from the track, but a hopeful glow of healing is very noticeable. Clips of Jones and Reckful talking are played throughout the track, creating an emotional effect that grips the reality of loss well.  

The tracks between these do not all have to do with Reckful’s death, encompassing themes such as friendship, failed relationships and more. They all feel at home on the EP and each brings something unique in terms of lyrical themes as well as a musical style.  

Pop-punk and emo rap are the two most prevalent genres of the EP, and Jones and Kala perform them well. The genres are timely and coincide with the lyrical matter of the EP well.  

“If I Could Go Back” is a solid EP that delivers a dynamic mix of painful lyrics with energetic music, giving an impactful and relatable listen. Even better, it is amazing proof that art can be used as a helpful coping mechanism even during the bleakest times.