For Fans Of
The ‘Hate EP’ is the first in a trilogy to be released by Hawthorne Heights through their own label Cardboard Empire, but at nine songs, it’s a wonder why they didn’t just release another album? Poor marketing decisions aside ‘Hate,’ lives up to its name by filling itself with dark lyrical themes and some of the heaviest music the band have released since their early days.
After making the shift to a more mainstream and accessible style of rock with their last few records, ‘Hate’ brings the band back to their roots with screamed vocals and breakdowns a plenty.
The online only release will catch a few people by surprise, especially those who had written them off, which was most people, due to the change in their musical style which offered bland, paint by numbers, rock songs that were fairly un-interesting. The band seem to have woken up, they possibly listened to their last few records, or noticed they released a ‘best of’ album well before they should have, and that made them angry enough to write these songs.
Tracks like the standout Divided feature airy verses and huge chorus that simply explode. Another highlight is Wasted In NYC, which whilst still heavy and aggressive, contains some of the best melody lines the band has ever produced.
The softest moment on the record comes in the form of Oceans which creates a darkly toned atmosphere letting the vocals do the driving.
The lyrics are far from the song’s strongest points, especially in the opener There Was A Kid (Part 1) which offers the lyrical prowess of a teenage garage band who are simply looking for words that rhyme with each other. Luckily, the vocal style more than makes up for the lack of effort given to the lyrics, especially in Is This What You Wanted? which has a vocal face off between front man JT Woodruff and screamer Micah Carli.
Those of you who enjoyed Hawthorne Heights earlier material but lost interest when they became extremely boring will enjoy this record due to the band’s return to a darker, heavier sound that actually has some balls.
1. There Was A Kid (Part 1)
2. Is This What You Wanted?
5. Wasted In NYC
6. Stay Awake/Stay Alive
8. Four White Walls