Hawthorne Heights

Hope EP

Written by: PP on 19/08/2012 02:48:14

"Hope" EP is the second instalment in a trilogy of records by seminal emo/post-hardcore group Hawthorne Heights themed after different emotions both stylistically and lyrically. Where the excellent "Hate" EP dealt with anger, frustration, and hatred, thus coming across as the most aggressive and heaviest Hawthorne Heights record to date, "Hope" EP deals with a much more optimistic theme, and therefore avoids the heavy usage of breakdowns and screamed vocals that were so prevalent on its predecessor.

Instead, "Hope" features a set of songs that sound more restrained and more melodic to the ear, often relying on an emotionally charged pop punk tone, although still very clearly upholding the band's quintessential post-hardcore sound featuring their signature usage of quiet/loud dynamics. It's quintessentially Hawthorne Heights overall, and whether I point towards the layered backing screams on top of JT's clean vocals or the purposefully cliché and desperate lyrics like "Below the soil and the dirt / Are all my friends and half my heart / My family's gone and all that's left / Is this stupid song and a hole in my chest" doesn't matter, because once you listen to opener "New Winter" or the next track "Running In Place (Niki AM)", it is very clear that the band are referencing their debut album "The Silence In Black & White". If that wasn't obvious from its title that recalls the band's classic song "Niki FM".

In other words, it's the same clean/scream, quiet/loud, flowing emo melodies that you've grown to expect from the band in years. But what's changed is that their ambitious EP trilogy seems to have reignited their compositional side and they're writing some of the best songs they've done in years. "Hope" isn't as infectiously catchy as "Hate" was, but it's another piece of evidence suggesting that Hawthorne Heights, despite the stigma of admitting to like their music as a post-teenager, write some of the most memorable music this genre has to offer.

Download: New Winter, Running In Place (Niki AM), Vandemonium
For the fans of: Anberlin, Halifax, Senses Fail, The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, Emery
Listen: Facebook

Release date 05.06.2012
Cardboard Empire

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