edit: had a quick listen to the last tune. i know the problem with demos and things is that you get attached to them, but the old version of Warning Shot was much better.
Yeah, I felt the same way about Holding Hearts... the older version just IS objectively better, because I like the newer recordings of the other songs done in the same period: the album versions of New Houses and We Are The Undercurrents are better than the 2008 originals, but don't feel the same about Holding Hearts. Therefore, in the most unscientific way possible, the 2008 version must be the better one!
With Warning Shot, I like it but it's certainly not at the top of my AGF list - either the demo version or the album version - so I was happy enough with the version that made Oftentimes itself. But yeah, with the HH case for myself, I know your pain!
I've gotta say, I don't think Shooter is the best p-rock tune they've done. I can see why it works live and not recorded though, I think you'd have to play with the arrangement to get a really good recorded version down.
Also, I think the new Holding Hearts is better as well. It sounds majestic without being cheesy. The only re-recording I don't like is Warning Shot, that string swell is what I'm not feeling really. The original was so beautiful and fragile, it was kinda perfect. I guess this works better in the context of these versions of these songs, a little more glossy (and I don't mean that in a bad way), but The EP version was special.
The album is really good though. My only real complaint is that it feels like a collection of songs and not an album. I mean, I've only listened once so this might well change as it sinks in and stuff, but it felt quite broken up to me. That's not a HUGE thing really though, it is a brilliant album regardless.