This is what drives me nuts. This is it. I cannot stand it when people try to convince me a shift in direction is always good. I am not afraid of “different” sounds coming from familiar bands, but I reserve the right to say their new sound is not good. Right now, I am going to exercise that right.
Today’s review from the Sydney based Hysteria Magazine, hails Hundredth’s newest album RARE as a “massive leap in the right direction,” for bands attempting that “full 180” in their sound. Now, I’d like to ignore Hundredth’s last 3 records, all of which I truly LOVED. I think this review needs an objective view, so I listened to this album while telling myself it was another band. While I did that, all I could think was, “Shit, this sounds a lot like Hyperview.”
That’s just it, another band that previously tried making that 180, that bored me to tears as a result. Title Fight tried doing this in 2015. And much like my opinion on Hyperview, I believe this album is incredibly boring. Try something new – sure, and when “Neurotic” was released I really liked the track. The problem here is that every other song on the album is a slowed down, mellow, over processed version of that song. Uniformity was the only word that came to mind when I finished listening to this album.
Back to Hysteria’s review, don’t call Hundredth a goddamn metal band! I’m really not a genre stickler, but for the love of God we’re not talking about Thy Art is Murder or Lamb of God here. All of the following would have been acceptable: “______ -hardcore.” You can fill that blank in with anything, and it would’ve been the correct categorization for Hundredth. Their review also talks about how “cohesive” the album is. Well, when every song sounds the same it is going to sound “cohesive.”
Lastly, the review, in its entirety, categorizes this pretty successful band as a bunch of hopeless wanderers until this album. The review ends with, “The boys seem to have finally found their groove.” They have had a signature sound. It is true that plenty of bands ripped them off, but don’t get it twisted, these guys pioneered melodic hardcore, and took some risks prior to this album. They started out like a generic metalcore band with When Will We Surrender. They made a HUGE transition by the time Let Go was released. They broke free (ha! get it?) from the generic metalcore sound by softening certain elements, introducing truly unique guitar tones that take your mind for a ride, and diversifying drum tracks so we all knew it wasn’t the product of a drum machine.
All-in-all, I don’t hate the album, I just don’t think it is great. It is a step backwards for these guys since bands employing this (throwback to The Cure) phaser pedal component to modern rock all sound the same (i.e. Title Fight, Balance and Composure, and Basement). Cohesive? No. Bland, boring, and bloated. Huge swelling noises that make you forget what you’re listening to. You can keep this album. They should’ve taken the best of this album (Neurotic, Disarray, Shy Vein, and Youth) and released an LP.
The review of it was lazy, lacked research, and needs work. 3/10
P.S. A word about the album cover, taking a screen grab of how your music looks via Windows Media Player is kinda lazy. Just saying.