Album Review :
Haste the Day - Haste the Day vs. Haste the Day

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Band: Haste the Day
Release: Haste the Day vs. Haste the Day
Label: Solid State Records
Release Date: September 13th, 2011
Reviewed by: BMer

Track Listing:

  1. 68
  2. Pressure The Hinges
  3. Blue 42
  4. Fallen
  5. The Minor Prophets
  6. Autumn
  7. The Closest Thing to Closure
  8. Walk On
  9. White Collar
  10. Needles
  11. Travesty
  12. Dog Like Vultures
  13. American Love
  14. Substance
  15. When Everything Falls

This is the last release from Haste The Day; a live album titled Hasted the Day vs. Haste the Day. Live albums are one of those things that usually only get a few spins before they’re put back on the shelf. They’re novelty, albums that lack the audio quality to be an everyday listen (except of course the Garth Brooks double-disc live album) but for one reason or another you decided to pick it up. All of these descriptions fit Haste The Day’s final album, a set list worthy of the title “greatest hits” and the standard live audio quality.

Except for one major difference.

Haste The Day are one of those bands that have featured two different lead singers; originally started with Jimmy Ryan but then gave way to Stephen Keech. Most bands don’t survive switching singers, let alone every position in the band except bass. Haste the Day not only survived the switch but went on to release 3 more albums with Keech. So why is this live album different? Every member that has played in Haste the Day played at this show, in their home state of Indiana. The original lineup featuring Jimmy Ryan on vocals (and Devin on drums, Brennan and Jason on guitars) go back and forth with the final lineup of Haste the Day featuring Stephen on vocals (and Giuseppe on drums, Dave and Scotty on guitars) hence the Haste the Day vs Haste the Day album title.

What is better than this for Haste the Day fans? Not only do you get 15 of the best Haste the Day songs over a 5 album span, but you get to hear Jimmy and company sing the old stuff, and lets be honest, everyone loves the Jimmy-era HTD! The album takes little time to get into the older material with “Blue 42” number 3 on the night followed by “Fallen”. The energy from the crowd fuels the band and they’re in excellent form for the first handful of songs. I was impressed by the sound quality, you can hear the vocals very clear and while the bass drum is loud, it doesn’t drown everything else out.

Having the commentary of the live show is also great. Hearing stories from Stephen about when he took over as the lead singer, and from Jimmy about his testimony, really elevate this album. One of the funnier moments came as Jimmy and company play their first song “Blue 42” and just before one of the best breakdowns the band ever wrote Jimmy asks the crowd “Do you remember this part?”. For the most part the band plays each song very well, you get to compare the drumming style between Giuseppe and Devin, while Giuseppe has tricks and fills for days while Devin is like a machine, very simple and reliable. There are a few moments when Giuseppe has a little difficulty sustaining and double-kick roll, stuff that Devin nails, but on the other hand you can hear a level of intricacy and technicality on the songs that Giuseppe helped write (Attack of the Wold King) that really show his quality. Guitar-wise everything sounds great, things get a little sloppy near the end of the set around “Needles” and “Travesty” but the band regains their form to close out the night. Speaking of closing the night, ending a Haste the Day set with “American Love” and “When Everything Falls” could get much better, they even throw in “Substance” a song they don’t play live often and features bassist Mike Murphy (the only member in the band from beginning to end) and his quality growls. Hearing both Jimmy and Stephen singing together on the closer “When Everything Falls” really brings the whole album to a close, they sound great!

OVERALL There is so much about Haste The Day vs Haste The Day that longtime fans will love. Those that loved the old-school version of the band will get to hear those songs played again with the original lineup while newer fans will get to hear not only the great songs that were written in the Stephen-era (“Dog Like Vultures”, “Pressure the Hinges”) but they get to hear the songs that got the band started. I know I’m probably preaching to the choir but this is a must-have for every Haste The Day fan, even if you’re not a big fan this is the closest you’re going to get to seeing Haste The Day live.

Pre-order here while you still can