- Apology Rejected
- Quitting While You’re Behind
- Denial Is Not Just A River In Egypt
- Romans 15
- Self Respect
- Forever Ended Yesterday
- Are You Mad?
- She’d Like To Wear The Pants, But She Can’t Fit Into Mine
- Live To The Point Of Tears
- Thinking In Terms Of Two
- Dime A Dozen
A few weeks ago, I heard the saying of “Do not put your mouth on a man of God” for the first time, which refers to Psalm 105 and how you aren’t supposed to touch/harm God’s “anointed ones.” If you really take a look at the verse in context, you’ll realize that it has nothing to do with speaking criticism towards pastors, but the Christian body in general and the Hebrew word for “touch” here means “to physically strike.” I bring this up only because I’ve seen attitudes online, and even in person, that if a band is playing music for Jesus, you shouldn’t criticize or say anything about their music because it’s “a form of worship, and it’s pleasing to the Lord.” While I believe God enjoys praise from His people, I believe that no matter how you spin it, good music is good music, and bad music is bad music. I’m here to review music objectively, and if you don’t agree with me, just remember this is my review, and there are other ones you can look up online. That being here’s my review for These Heart’s Forever Ended
Don’t get me wrong: I love a lot of different kinds of music, so I’m definitely not close-minded. Some of my
favorite memories are of singing along to Search the City with my my little sister in the car at the top of our
lungs. I also have had the pleasure of opening up with my old band for Between the Buried and Me, Animals
as Leaders, and Veil of Maya, and thoroughly enjoyed them all. The reason I mention that is because when I
received this album, I wasn’t turned off because the genre of music. I’m a sucker for catchy choruses and a
good mix of hardcore and pop. However, after listening to Forever Ended Yesterday, I can’t say I was
impressed by any means. I honestly feel a bit empty, and am sad because I just received Debtor’s new
album to review, but I will wait. I can be patient.
Right off the bat, you are introduced to what you’re going to hear most of the album by way of “Apology
Rejected”: stereotypical pop-punk riffs behind a very nasally vocalist, with the occasional “hardcore” riff
thrown in here and there. There is never a song on this album that made me sit up and wonder, “Wow, I want
to listen to this song again.” I’ve tried my best to be excited while listening to it, but thanks to unimaginative chugging patterns and horribly-recorded screaming vocals (it sounds like some of the vocalist’s screams were done through an old-school computer microphone), I am merely shrugging as I strive to find positive things to say.
Now, don’t get me wrong: there are some good things about These Heart’s newest release, but it’s hard to
weigh them equally with what I hear wrong. For example, minus the ridiculously Chiodos-esque vocals
(intentional?) in “Romans 15,” I would say it is one of the better written songs on the album. Also, I feel like
the drumming is pretty steady and consistent, which in this genre, is a good thing. There’s nothing worse
than hearing a pop drummer trying to be “technical,” which results in sloppy and off-time patterns, so as I
said, the drumming is enjoyable. And in all honesty, there are good riffs in the guitar section, and from what I can
hear, the bass holds things together, but there is nothing being done that would make me want to buy this
album over any other release this year, or even in years past.
If the band reads this, I have a few things to suggest: vocally, tone it down a bit. Just because you can sing
high doesn’t mean it fits the music. Also, sing within your range, and if this is your range, consider adapting
it to the music a bit. The entire time I was listening to the album, I continually was thinking, “This music
would be so much better with a different vocalist.” Despite any flack, I will stand by that statement. Also,
while there were a few good riffs here and there, I felt like the majority of the album was just staccato
chugging, with no real substance behind it. I’d love to hear you guys branch out a bit and actually write some
structured songs with real meat. I hear a lot of potential, but that doesn’t change the fact this album has
nothing new or creative for kids to listen to compared to anything else they could be buying these days.
Overall: I understand a three may seem harsh, but by our rating system, I will feel that this album is “a poor effort but shows some potential.” It’s hard to be impressed with bands that are only fitting the mold and not breaking free. I know there will be people who enjoy this band but with lyrics that reek of teenage angst and broken hearts, song writing that could be mistaken for almost any other band in the scene, and vocals that my mom doesn’t even enjoy, I can’t recommend this to anyone without feeling a little guilty. I’ve heard nothing but the best about These Hearts as people, and I’m not trying to attack their integrity and character. However, when I think of how bands like Four Year Strong and A Day to Remember have already done this better, I’m not going to cry myself to sleep knowing these files won’t be on my hard-drive anymore.