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Heartsounds have decided that a third album is a good time to change things up a little, evolve even, and push their usual punk barriers a little further out. ‘Internal Eyes’ incorporates some pretty heavy riffs making this one of their darkest and hardest sounding records to date.
Produced by Zack Ohren, who usually works with heavier acts such as All Shall Perish and Murder Death Kill, he has approached Heartsounds’ new music in a "metal" production kind of way, which doesn’t necessarily suit the music despite its new direction. That being said, Heartsounds seem more comfortable in this realm, as opposed to the pop touches of their past.
The male/female dual vocal thing that the band is known for also works surprisingly well against a heavier backdrop, especially on the record’s stand out title track, which manages to combine both the old and new elements of the group in the most cohesive way.
There is still a heavy sense of melody, something the band probably could never fully ignore, and it serves as the main tie between all of these songs. Unfortunately though it is hook-less, and few moments tend to be memorable. Opening track ‘A Total Separation of Self’ brings the fast paced punk while the guitars stab like weighty daggers in and amongst the back and forth vocals.
‘Cycles’ follows with a nostalgic skate punk feel, more reminiscent of the group’s older material before tracks like ‘Where Are You?’ explore the riff heavy addition to the groups energetic punk backdrop. There are some lighter moments, ‘First Light’ for example, which pulls back into swaying guitars and relaxed drums and actually serves as another album stand out, sounding something like Into It. Over it.
The record closes with ‘The World Up There’, another metal/punk hybrid that is a little brighter than some of its predecessors.
Heartsounds seem to be figuring out what kind of band they want to be, funnily enough while doing so they have created their best album to date. That being said, when compared to others from the genre, ‘Internal Eyes’ falls a little short of being something that will be too memorable down the track. It’s more of a strong step in the right direction.
1. A Total Separation of Self
3. Internal Eyes
4. Can’t Always Be Looking Down
5. Where Are You?
6. Constant Crossroads
8. First Light
10. The World Up There