Half Hearted Hero


Written by: PP on 14/01/2013 21:58:46

Half Hearted Hero is no stranger to reviews from this magazine. Both their debut album "Defining Refining" and subsequent EP "Running Water" showcased a band with enormous talent, although it always seemed clear that the band's songwriting had so much more to offer than the pedal-to-the-floor brand of melodic hardcore/punk of those releases. They were drawing parallels to technical units like This Is A Standoff and the hyper speed pop punk bands like Caleb Lionheart, but it always felt a little bit one-dimensional, as if something was missing from the sound for it to feel just right.

Well, that has now officially been remedied by "Whatever", a somewhat of a departure from their previous material, and absolutely in the right direction. Technical punk rock and pop punk references have both been pushed aside to make room for a more elaborate soundscape, one that draws its inspiration primarily from the introspective, mellow emotional hardcore of Polar Bear Club on their debut album "Sometimes Things Just Disappear". Where they previously had difficulty stepping off the pedal, they now do just that in extensive periods of time, resulting in a more versatile and a more intriguing sound. Repeated listens now unravel layers upon layers of depth, not just because the songs are slower (they still crush the speeder on multiple tracks), but because they are better written.

On vocals, Anthony Savino delivers an incredible performance with characteristically rough, melodic delivery that sticks out from the mix immediately. His vocals are drenched in passionate emotion, and his melody lines varied and interesting, so he follows Polar Bear Club's Johnny Stadt here closely. The instrumentals range from technical guitars to thick bass-lines, and in the slower sections, they are purposefully angular and intricate to build some of that depth I talked about earlier.

The eight tracks of "Whatever" clock in just under 30 minutes, leaving you wanting for much more. They are depth-oriented and more complex arrangements than any Half Hearted Hero material previously, but at the same time they have an element of catchy attached to them. But most importantly, they are the best songs written by Half Hearted Hero to date, and an early tell that 2013 is shaping up to be a great year for music yet again.


Download: Untitled, Whatever, Vessel
For the fans of: Polar Bear Club, Title Fight, Basement, Make Do And Mend
Listen: Facebook

Release date 15.01.2013
Animal Style Records

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