The Hextalls

Play With Heart

Written by: PP on 09/04/2015 23:35:14

Canadian no-frills pop punkers The Hextalls have never been serious about their music. With songs about hockey, video games, movie stars, and other unconventional topics, whether you like the band or not has always been dependent on your ability to accept that not all music needs to have artistic value per se. On past albums, however, The Hextalls have convinced most critics through a fun-filled approach to their songs while maintaining catchy song structures that are instantly sing alongable in the process. The same formula has applied throughout all their records so far, so it's no surprise the band keeps it up on "Play With Heart" as well.

For the newcomers, The Hextalls' style pop punk can best be compared to bands like The Copyrights, The Dopamines, and Aussie legends Frenzal Rhomb. Simple three chord riffs, emotionally-tinged pop punk vocals, early Motion City Soundtrack styled synths, plenty of speed and catchy sing alongs is what's up. Only this time around, the latter part is somewhat lacking on "Play With Heart". Sure, "Ouch, My Childhood" is up there with the best Hextalls songs with its movie-themed lyricism about hating George Lucas and Steven Spielberg for ruining classic movies with sequels and prequels, and "Who's The #1 Cop" is directly comparable to the "I Don't Wanna Be A New York Ranger" with its references to Sergei Bobrovsky, the goaltender of Columbus Blue Jackets, but overall the songs sound rather tired and forced in comparison to their old material. Only a few laugh-out-loud moments and two or three good sing along choruses out of eight tracks? Not even the song about an army of Chad Kroeger robots is able to boost this one to the higher ratings.

The result is a generic no frills pop punk album that isn't necessarily bad, but it's just very average compared to what for example The Copyrights put out last year. The songs go in one ear and out the other, despite their melodic tone and their totally unchanged formula from past Hextalls albums. "Get Smashed" felt somewhat more upbeat and fun, and "Rock You To Sleep" was a staple in how no-frills pop punk should sound. "Play With Heart"? More like a mediocre version of those two records that feels like the band is running out of ideas.


Download: "Ouch, My Childhood", "Who's The #1 Cop"
For the fans of: The Copyrights, The Dopamines, Frenzal Rhomb
Listen: Facebook

Release date 14.02.2015

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