Band: These Hearts
Album: Yours to Take
Label: Victory Records
Reviewer: Brody B
- This is Love (Feat. Bert Poncet)
- The Inconvenience
- Been Through Hell
- Last Man Alive
- Birds of a Feather
- Undecided Story
- War (Feat. Mattie Montgomery)
- Never Mind Me
In the music industry maturity can either make or break a band. Maturity is the thing that can determine whether sales will skyrocket or plummet into the abyss as the band loses all the momentum they once had.
In other cases, maturity has less to do with making a band big or not, but rather if the band grows from what seemed a childish endeavor into what seems like a real, fully fleshed out group of musicians. This is the case with Fargo, North Dakota’s popcore act, These Hearts.
The band’s debut full length, “Forever Ended Yesterday” was met with adverse reviews across the web, as sites and patrons would almost cruelly dismantle the young group. Well it seems the group of young men have done some growing up in the past few years and taken a page from genre leaders, A Day Remember’s book in creating a bouncy and youthful record filled to the brim with energy.
Is “Yours to Take” a fantastic record? No. But it is a huge improvement over the last offering and should gain the band a few new fans while silencing previous haters of the group.
The first thing the listener is likely to notice as This is Love, a song about faithful fans who have stuck with them throughout their careers, is the song has some serious chops. I would benefit this largely to the vastly improved recording of this album compared to their debut. After the bass heavy, groove laden chugs, the nasally pop injected vocals Ryan Saunders come through with great clarity with a chorus you might find stuck in your head when you least expect it.
Last Man Alive flows in the same vein as This is Love, providing a surprisingly crunchy distortion to the guitars while keeping things uber poppy during the chorus. Saunders truly shows how much he has improved his vocal range and overall ability in this track, experimenting with various deliveries and vocal patterns.
War was somewhat of a pleasant surprise. Not simply because I was taken off guard at the guest spot by Mattie Montgomery, but also because of the heaviness brought forth in the track. Mattie shines and helps the rest of the guys in the band step up a bit as the song has an overall more “professional” sound to it. Guitarists Daryl Van Beek and Kyle Colby even throw in some layered breakdowns with reverb laden leads penetrating the background.
The downfall of War is that they forced singing sections into the song. While the “Yours to Take” excels during the more pop-punk influenced sections I think the band should not be afraid to let a song simply be heavy without forcing singalongs.
As previously mentioned, “Yours to Take” isn’t all that bad when it comes to the pop-punk side of things. Psycho in particular is a raucous trek through the pop punk world with poppy, “Woahs” and bubbly leads all culminating into a predictable, yet fun breakdown towards the end of the track.
Birds of a Feather is another fun track that follows much the same pattern as Psycho. Not a scream is heard on this track, which is actually very refreshing considering I was expecting them to throw some in just for good measure.
While the band has made great improvements in some areas, others are lacking. The main shortcoming is in the lyrical department. Psycho, while sounding great instrumentally, drove me crazy lyrically (see what I did there?) with all the cliches and cheesy lines. “She’s an angel that raises hell / She doesn’t fight fair couldn’t you tell / She’ll take your heart and rip it in half / She’ll hand it back and try not to laugh” is one of the lines that grates me the most on this track while one liners like, “She’s a travel agent for guilt trips” find their homes in other tracks.
I also would like to see These Hearts really branch out and try their own thing. They have shown that they have some talent with this release, now they simply need to find the “It” factor that will make them stand out amidst all the other A Day to Remembers and Four Year Strongs. Let’s face it, while the genre these artists abide in is a completely tolerable genre, there is not much to separate one band from another.
Overall: These Hearts have done some growing since their previous release and have shown they have potential. And in a music industry that’s as grueling as this, it is not often that once a band finds its’ niche audience it evolves. I would like to challenge the fellows in These Hearts to continue to grow, find their “It” factor and do some lyrical maturity and I think they could truly be something some folks might truly find special.
I’d probably give this somewhere between a 2 and 2.5
RIYL: A Day to Remember | Four Year Strong | Set Your Goals