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HEART IN HAND – Almost There


Label: Century Media Records

Release Date: May 14, 2013

Rating: 9.5/10

Reviewed by :Mike Hubbard

Hailing from Southampton, England, Heart in Hand releases their second full length May 14.  Founded in 2008, they are firmly established in England and ready now to break out in the international scene.  With a style best described as melodic hardcore, they are definitely showing that they have the chops to get more attention with “Almost There.”  The album opens with a soft, ethereal, instrumental intro, “Proposal,” and segues into the title track, “Almost There.”  Right from the start, one becomes mesmerized with the multiple layers of texture coming at you.  Wave after wave of emotion, often desperation, sprinkled with hints of hope, roll over the listener.  From the beginning, you know this is going to be a wild ride.  The subsequent track, “Home Sick,” follows suit.  The dual guitars of Ollie Wilson and Ed Hartwell provide an atmospheric canvas for the shouting vocals of Charlie Holmes to paint upon.  Next up is “Vows,” a soft instrumental interlude, giving the listener a chance to catch his breath before getting pummeled again with “Sleeping Alone.”  They mix things up a bit in the next two songs, “Cuts and Bruises” and “Maybe,” by featuring guest vocalists.  Frankly, I do not think the guests are needed.  The band has enough depth without having to bring in outside voices.  The additions do bring a different element to the vocals, most notably the clean vocals in “Maybe,” but the overall sound is still distinctively HIH and the tracks fit right in with the rest of the album.

The next track, “Old Tattoos” is one of the highlights of the record.  It starts off softly, with guitar and piano, slowly picks up as the drums and bass join in, and then continues building, eventually exploding with Holmes’s howls, more than half way into the 4:44 long track.  The track peaks with Holmes screaming “I’ll promise to never change!”  Tattoos is followed by “Life Goes On…,” a solid, straight forward rocker in a fairly standard song structure.  The tenth track, “Broken Lights,” also features a guest vocalist, Dani Winter-Bates, from fellow Southampton band Bury Tomorrow.  “Broken Lights” is slower, and has a decidedly more menacing sound, perfectly accentuated by Winter-Bates’s growling vocals.  It is the hardest song of the album.  “Our Atlantic” starts with slow, quiet guitar intro, with vocals entering in from the distance.  The song then bursts when the drums enter.  It follows a 6/8 time signature at first, then transitions into 4/4.  Featuring one of the few breakdowns on the album, the song structure of “Our Atlantic” is more complex than the others on the album.  Next on the track list is “Direction” a short, but powerful reminder of the intensity that HIH can bring forth.  “The Latter” ends the album similar to how it starts, with a quiet slow guitar instrumental.  A driving syncopated drum beat is layered in over the guitar, leaving the listener a lasting impression of the richness of the textured layers experience throughout the recording.  Overall, “Almost There” is a piece of art that other bands spend their entire careers attempting to create.  The tracks ebb and flow, seamlessly taking you through a roller-coaster of emotions.  The 46 minutes it takes to listen to it from start to end will be over before you know it, leaving you wanting to start it back over from the beginning.  Heart In Hand are ready to take on the world.

Category: CD Reviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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