Halfway To Hell Club

Bridges, Matches & Gasoline

Written by: PP on 01/03/2012 14:45:19

So I'm finally done with my thesis & handed it in, which means my activity level at Rockfreaks.net is about to skyrocket. To start things off, I'll share my thoughts on yet another 2011 release that's been dangling in my review queue all too long, namely the debut full length "Bridges, Matches & Gasoline" by the Lindenhurst, New York based quintet Halfway To Hell Club. They're basically a more restrained and a more punk rock version of Bear Vs Sharks, especially in the vocal department. Instead of unpredictable hyperbolic explosions of vocal rage, they prefer rumbling bass guitar and your typical melodic, rough-around-the-edges punk rock chords to drive their expression forward.

As you might expect from having heard dozens if not hundreds of like-minded acts like them (Campaign, Louder Than Bombs strike to mind first), when their expression works, it does so exceptionally well. "The Theology of Hypocrisy" provides just the right contrast between the gravelly vocals and dynamic guitar melodies to hit a home run, whereas the playful guitars at the beginning of "Breathing Is A Sign Of Guilt" do the same, while the cleaner vocal approach does wonders in this track.

Most songs range from two to two-and-a-half minutes in length, meaning they are effective, if unsurprising pieces of rollicking punk rock where bass lines and catchy vocal hooks are of greater importance than originality or artistic ambition. It also means that the album can lack variation at times, and the songs are a little bit inconsistent. Not because they are bad - because they never are - but because they often are content at just being decent, non-flashy pieces aside from the couple of highlight tracks present. In any case, if you find yourself missing the vocals from Bear Vs Shark, Halfway To Hell Club offer a nice 25 minute trip down the nostalgia lane.

Download: The Theology Of Hypocrisy, Breathing Is A Sign Of Guilt
For the fans of: Bear Vs Shark, Bars Of Gold, Campaign, Louder Than Bombs
Listen: Bandcamp

Release date 13.09.2011
Dead Broke Records

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