Black Heart, London, UK - 25/2
Hear The Sirens
Written by: PP on 18/12/2012 23:34:01
This has to be one of the most elaborate and radical transformations I've seen a band do in just three years. "Rebel Hearts Lost", the debut album by San Francisco-based Hear The Sirens, sourced its sound primarily from the raw and explosive melodic hardcore of Strike Anywhere, whereas new album "Renegade" shares more in common with mainstream pop punk bands than with the rebellious energy of its predecessor. For once, change has been for the better: raw and explosive have been exchanged with polished and catchy, moving the record distinctly into turn-of-the-century pop punk territory in the vein of Sum 41. Normally I wouldn't portray that as a positive change exactly, but Hear The Sirens deliver their new style with infectious enthusiasm and mega catchy choruses in pretty much every song. In short, it's hard not to instantly like it.
"Last Call Love" opens the album with a fast paced melody and bouncy vibes that bring to mind Sugarcult's "Bouncing Off The Walls", only in a slightly more energetic form. Sounding like other bands becomes somewhat of a common theme throughout the record: title track "Renegade" and "Watch The World Burn" are like straight outta Sum 41's "All Killer, No Filler"-era material, and "Our Disaster" and "Figure It Out" are practically stolen off Green Day's "Dookie" at least instrumentally. Also a common thread is the rougher vocal style that does something to alleviate these concerns, and alongside an edgy and charismatic take on mainstream pop punk overall, it helps "Renegade" move from a nostalgia pop punk album to something more relevant in 2012. Most importantly, every song is catchier than the plague and is played with irresistible energy, making it difficult to not like the songs presented here. After all, Sum 41 won enormous amounts of success with their 'college pop punk' sound in the wake of Blink 182 because it was so darn easy to like, lack of artistic integrity or compositional depth notwithstanding. It was simply fun to sing along to those songs, which is very much the case here.
So while "Renegade" isn't the most original album out there, it pays great tribute to its obvious influences, and delivers mainstream pop punk in probably its best form since the genre's glory days during the early 2000s. Every song is constructed with the catchy principle first, roughened vocals second, and nice tempo third, which means there aren't any unnecessary ballads breaking the flow of the album, and surprisingly also no filler tracks in between the hit material. This is all hits and it doesn't come any better than this for hook-laden pop punk anymore.
Download: Last CalL love, Our Disaster, Figure It Out, Watch The World Burn
For the fans of: Sum 41, Sugarcult, old Green Day
Release date 25.09.2012