Hawthorne Heights – Hope

Hawthorne Heights
Hope
Released 5th June 2012
Post-Hardcore/Alt. Rock
Released via Carboard Empire

Hawthorne Heights are a band I’m familiar with, only in name. Hope, released via the band’s own label Cardboard Empire, is the band’s seventh studio release.

There Was A Kid (Part 2) is the intro track of the EP, being composed of mystifying keyboards and a very odd sounding guitar riff. The vocals are composed of what sounds to be poetry recited, followed by a more solid vocal melody. New Winter brings about a good use of clean vocals and a slight use of screams, which help to add a small post-hardcore sound to the alt. rock styling of the guitars and drums. Running In Place (NIKI AM) begins sounding like a decent post-hardcore anthem but it’s the vocals that take the emphasis away rom the raging aggression of the music, making it more alt. rock, a sound that isn’t helped by some of the riffs later on in the song.

The beginning riff of Stranded rings out a similar sound to those found in Sweet Dreams, the vocals help add to that for a short while before the song takes on a more alternative form in the vocal workings. Nowhere Fast is reasonably well composed and performed track but it’s a little too laid back or my tastes, though it does add a new dynamic sound to the EP. The title track, Hope, begins with a noticeable bass riff and pop punk sounding vocals. The guitars also take up a pop punk sound, a bit surprising, but enjoyable enough.

The vocal melodies and guitar riffs of Vandemonium are catchier than the common cold. The use of screams in some sections of the song are a welcome change to the sound of the album, when compared to some of the previous tracks. Chemicals is the ending track and I can’t help but feel it sounds like a Paramore track only with male vocals as opposed to female vocals. Either way, the track contains some solid drum work and enjoyable riffs.

I’ll be honest, Hawthorne Heights really aren’t my cup of tea but I see why they’ve got to where they are today, musically speaking, after listening to this EP. It has some pretty cool tracks and it’s definitely worth a listen, whether you like the band or not.

3.8/5

Nico Davidson

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