Category Archives: Screamo

Hawthorne Heights – Fragile Future – CD Review

Hawthorne Heights
Hawthorne Heights

A lot has been going on for Ohio’s screamo act Hawthorne Heights since their last release.  Having said goodbye to a friend and band mate as well as dropping a lawsuit with Victory Records, the band continues to cope and mature throughout.  Not letting the past affect them in a downward way, the band proves they refuse to stop with Fragile Future, their third release on Victory Records.

On November 27, 2007 Hawthorne Heights guitarist/screamer Casey Calvert was found dead on the band’s tour bus just prior to their sound check at a Washington D.C. music club.  The cause of death was determined to be a possible drug interaction but according to the band’s drummer Eron Bucciarelli it was not a result of hardcore partying but an accident as Casey Calvert was taking other medicines from a recent root canal.

With the death of a loved one the band stated they would continue to go on and never add another guitarist/screamer to their band.  After taking some time to themselves and writing new material the band hopes to once again achieve success with Fragile Future even though this time they are one man down.

Of course, the first thing that stands out on this release is the omitted vicious screaming.  It would appear that Hawthorne Heights did not even wish to replicate their lost friend’s talent and that, to me, is respectable.  Also dropping the lawsuit with Victory Records and patching up past decisions proved the band is on the rise.

When “The Business Of Paper Stars” started I was waiting for the well known screaming backing up lead singer J.T. Woodruff but instead imagined it in my head.  There is plenty of opportunity in the song for screaming but the band strays away from that and is now more emo. 

Their healed sound continues in “Until The Judgment Day” with memorable lyrics of being “battered and broken” as well as “don’t look back, don’t you ever look back until the judgment day”.  Looks as if the band put down the boom box to win the girl attitude and started to see there are more things in life out there.

“Four Became One” was the track I was looking for on this CD, knowing how they lost Casey Calvert.  The song really is about the band’s closure with the difficult situation they were subject to.  It’s an ode to their friend for the entire world to hear.  Having lost friends in my past, I felt their pain in this song.

“321” is the closest song on the CD that shows aggression with a mild screaming dwelling behind the singing.  The guitar playing is likable and heavier than the other tracks making for one of my choice cuts.  “Come Back Home (Reprise)” was another track that held on to the the old style, especially with borrowed lyrics from “This Is Who We Are” off their sophomore album If Only You Were Lonely.

Fans of Hawthorne Heights will be happy the band continued on and with their change of style and I can see some new folk becoming fans.  It is a change, especially if you put this CD in hoping to hear the screamo. This is not their strongest album to date but the fact that they did not let the past hold them back makes them a tough band now.  Hawthorn Heights defines the emo genre now that they have experienced true sorrow.  Mature and structured, I expect much more from this band in years to come.

Check out their lastest video for the song “Rescue Me”:

United Nations to rock off your face…

United Nations
United Nations

It’s rare that I see something on MySpace that actually gets me excited.  Ok, ok… I get excited when there are new bulletins that I can fill out and let mindless readers know what color boxers I am wearing and if my parents and I ever fight over curfew….doesn’t everyone?

Anyways…

I logged on to the “Place For Friends” website yesterday and saw something on the home page about a band called United Nations.  I became interested mainly because I got a kick out of the picture of the band and laughed at how all members were all wearing Ronald Regan masks.  I became more interested at the sarcastic description of the band that said that the members of the band have nothing to do with Glassjaw, Converge, or Thursday.  That to me read: Awesome!  This band contains members of 3 bands I adore…

I did a little Wikipedia‘n and discovered that the band right now is pretty much a secret due to contract obligations but the band, rather grindcore screamo (you are right Adam and Ram, no grindcore at all…) supergroup, will be putting out their debut album on 09/09/08 on Eyeball Records (who has previously released material by Thursday…).  Better yet the band has decided to stream their entire debut on MySpace.  You can check that out HERE.

I sampled a few of the songs and all I can say is that this band is brutal.  The sounds of Thursday + Converge = Great Idea.  For all you fans of loud heavy screaming metal but have a soft spot for screamo, this album will be for you.  This album is going to be the next big thing.

To make matters even funnier, head over to the United Nations official website.  It is a parody of the UN website full of satire and witty links.  I laughed out loud at the FAQ‘s that have serious questions and humorous answers relating the the United Nations band and not the so-called government association based upon cooperation (or so they say).

I have not really been excited about an upcoming release all summer and I am glad something has finally sparked my attention.  I expect big things from this band and I know the hype is going to be worth it…now if they will only swing though my town so they can rock my face off.

If you are like me and want to pre-order their debut album, click the link below…