Album Review :
Hundredth - Let Go

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Band: Hundredth
Album: Let Go
Label: Mediaskare Records
Release Date: September 2011
Reviewer: BMer

Track Listing

  1. Let Go
  2. Weathered Town
  3. Live Today
  4. We Can Take Them All
  5. Carry On
  6. Humane
  7. Remain & Sustain
  8. Monumental Pt.1
  9. Monumental Pt.2
  10. I Hold The Key
  11. Restless
  12. Soul
  13. Hurt (cover)

Let Go is the follow-up album to Hundredth impressive debut When Will We Surrender on MediaSkare Records. Just over a year later Hundredth have produced 11 new songs and one cover. Slightly heavier than …Surrender, Let Go is sure to be near the top of the best albums of 2011.

Let Go is a big album, Chad Johnson’s vocals are immense and each song is carefully crafted in Hundredth’s hardcore style. There are moments on Let Go that lean more to the punk-style, tracks like “Remain & Sustain” with its clean vocals and fast drumming, and other tracks that get very heavy like “Soul”. The most creative song on Let Go is “Restless” which features guest vocals and writing from Cody Bonnette of As Cities Burn. The song starts off at a slower pace than the previous tracks and builds to a beautiful breakdown/interlude that features Cody’s unmistakeable vocals. Lyrically the track is very honest and pretty much sums up the feel of the entire album “Am I jaded to the point where I can’t see all of the beauty Your hands made, the world surrounding me?”

While musically Let Go is very good, creative diverse songs that offer contrasting parts and interesting lead parts, lyrically Let Go is slightly under-whelming. The focus of Let Go and Chad’s writing revolves around issues surrounding our lives, social injustice, negativity and most of all the problems with America. Song after song Chad bemoans our current culture from “We Can Take Them All” where he sings “Shipped us overseas to be all we can be. We can’t justify murder with freedom isn’t free.” to the track “Monumental Pt. 2 “The world is in pieces, it’s falling apart… The world I see is full of things that should not be.” “Humane” focuses on rising above the “empires, the imperial” where he sings “And blindly pledge to a flag when justice lies in a King.” While most would agree with these observations, these ideas are somewhat overwhelming, almost like trying to end hunger for the entire planet in one day.

Throughout Let Go you can hear Chad struggling with his own ideas. In “Carry On” Chad is uplifting and encouraging “You can rise above it. If you’ve fallen to your knees don’t give up just yet.” This is a great track that resembles the positive hardcore style that Life In Your Way is known for; uniting lyrics and a heavy breakdown. Those looking for references to Faith and Christianity as …Surrender will be hard-pressed to find them outside of the interlude track that features a sermon from C.S. Lewis and the song “Restless” where Chad writes about his personal struggles with his faith and doubts. Some of the more creative writing comes from “Soul” where Hundredth sing “I’m rising up reminding myself: dark is the absence of light.” and another great moment comes from “Monumental Pt.2” where Holocaust survivor Eli Wiesel is quoted “For the dead and the living we must all bear witness.”

Let Go is an anthem for those getting bogged down in the day-to-day routine, those on auto-pilot who have nothing going for them. Hundredth’s passionate style is reminiscent of Defeater and Have Heart, combing some story-telling with pure raw emotion while singing about everyday issues. Everything that was on their debut album is here; fast, hardcore drumming with some chest-thumping breakdowns, big group singalong vocals like the opener “Weathered Town” where everyone sings “These memories will stay with me!” and even a cover of Johnny Cash’s “Hurt” (which was a cover/interpretation of Trent Reznor’s song).

OVERALL Let Go is definitely a contender for Album of the Year in 2011. Hundredth did not compromise in their approach and maintain their excellent hardcore style, Let Go is very heavy. The album is definitely a beacon of hope for the down-trodden, a reminder to never give up and be yourself, make each day count. I feel that Let Go will be slightly less impacting to Christians looking for faith-based encouragement, Let Go encourages this generation to “expand your mind and seek truth for ourselves.” but never really offers much in putting your faith and trust in Christ. As with every album, this album will resonate with some more than others, but most will agree Hundredth are one of the best hardcore bands around today.