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Heartsounds - Drifter (Cover Artwork)

Heartsounds

Heartsounds: DrifterDrifter (2011)
Epitaph Records

Reviewer Rating: 4
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Contributed by: superanncoulterfanclubsuperanncoulterfanclub
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Eschewing even the pretense of concern for a sophomore album slump, Heartsounds produce a riveting revival for melodic, technical-metal-inflected pop-punk with their second album, Drifter. Treading into the familiar territory of punk luminaries Strung Out, A Wilhelm Scream, Propagandhi, and the Swel.
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Eschewing even the pretense of concern for a sophomore album slump, Heartsounds produce a riveting revival for melodic, technical-metal-inflected pop-punk with their second album, Drifter. Treading into the familiar territory of punk luminaries Strung Out, A Wilhelm Scream, Propagandhi, and the Swellers, Heartsounds combines tactful technical bravado and pulsating punk anthems with infectious pop melodies and introspective (to a fault) lyrics. Vocalists and guitarists Ben Murray and Laura Nichol trade off and blend in vocals for a full tilt and sultry, signature vocal dynamic. Bassist Kyle Camarillo and drummer Trey Derbes are integrated into the band as a full-time rhythm section for this ambitious effort. The group's debut effort, Until We Surrender, might have been mostly a nod to (early furious) Swellers material, but Drifter boldly strides into the technical (and even more furious) direction of A Wilhelm Scream and Strung Out.

The first two tracks, "Every Second Counts" and "Unconditional" deliver the opening punk onslaughts before the title track, "Drifter", supplicates for punk introversion: "I'll drift through the day just to get back to sleep... Or self-meditate my way into the arms of relief." Jason Cruz from Strung Out lends guest vocals on "Elements" to further layer the solemn nuances. Some noticeable vestiges from Ben and Laura's previous band, Light This City, emanate and fall into the mix as Ben resurges into full technical prowess on "Race to the Bottom" and "Uncomfortably Numb", which even flirts with full-blown drummed blast beats. Laura prods and points fingers on "Don't Talk with Your Mouth Open", a vitriolic but mildly teasing ("you get what you pay for") punk screed. Laura slows it down a bit for a modest ballad on "Echo", but humbly tackles self-esteem issues on "You Are Not Your Body". Ben ends the album on a reflective note with "Nothing Happens for a Reason", a tribute to his late father.

Drifter might be the record that buries the past, figuratively and literally. It is heavier and beefier than their first effort, Until We Surrender, as well as many of the brash and brawny moments of Light This City. It also delves into some deeper emotional territory than Until We Surrender. Indeed, Heartsounds may only be just one more band in the resurgence into late '90s/early '00s technical-metal pop-punk, but Drifter will definitely stand out in the resurgence. Highly recommended.

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Levendus (September 16, 2011)

I'm shocked people like this album so much, it's so derivative of other bands. They claim they want to homage their favourite punk bands but they're hardly moving the genre forward or presenting anything new at all.

I enjoyed the first album somewhat, it was a nice throw back to 90 era skatepunk but Drifter is just a dud for me. The vocal melodies aren't that good on drifter, the one thing that helped prop up 'until we surrender' as the lyrics are quite weak on that album

They seem to have rejected the formula that made certain parts of their first album so much fun, I quite liked the back and forth vocals between Ben and the female singers (I'm sorry I've forgotten her name) yet in Drifter they seem to trade off songs, meaning Ben has his songs and the girl has hers. This is where the flaw is for me as both of them seem to struggle to keep song interesting when on their own.

also, a similar problem I had with Atlas losing Grip's follow up album - State of unrest is that it very much follows the 'fast song, faster song, mid tempo song, fast song' formula rather than mix it up a little within the songs themselves. ALG did a great EP with songs packed full of tempo changes and interesting musical parts, where as the songs on their follow up album just seemed a little too linear and generic.

Jeevz (August 8, 2011)

I like a lot of the music in this album but I feel like the vocals are in the background and the dueling nature is gone from Until We Surrender. Echo is pretty terrible and didn't make it to my ipod. Everything else is pretty good except for Don't Talk With Your Mouth Open's lyrics like most have said. The name Heartsounds is ok, fits their tunes for some reason.

jacknife737 (August 3, 2011)

Love the album, especially the vocals: reminds me of Bad Religion at times.

wilhelms_cream (August 3, 2011)

Such a great album, I can really feel some Bad Religion influence in some parts. But it's also hardcorey. Naas Botha is proud.

damnitsderek (August 3, 2011)

"Don't Talk With Your Mouth Open" is the one song I feel like this record could do without. Every playthrough, I've wanted to skip it.

Outside of that, damn fine record.

hashbrowns (August 3, 2011)

i still cant get the end of "Dont Talk With Your Mouth Open". It's either a reference to something I don't get or they were REEAAAAALLLY high when they wrote it. because it's just awful.

that said, the song is still great. love these guys simply for how much they nod to the late 90's epifat sound. not everyone is going to like it.

theproblemwithfire (August 2, 2011)

SHINGLES are a real thing, too. doesn't mean it sounds good for a band name. actually, shingles still sounds better for a band name than fucking HEARTSOUNDS does.

onegirlarmy (August 2, 2011)

"You guys know that heart sounds are an actual THING, right? It's not like they just made up the term."

Yep, I do. Its another word for heart beats.

onegirlarmy (August 2, 2011)

Also, I definitely don't know any 12-year olds that listen to Heartsounds. Most people I know that enjoy them are in their 20's/30's. Heck, I know people who aren't huge on this style of punk and love them, which to me is an indicator of when your band can cross all types, that rules. To each their own though.

elliot (August 2, 2011)

You guys know that heart sounds are an actual THING, right? It's not like they just made up the term.

onegirlarmy (August 2, 2011)

Well, I'm a thirtysomething and I enjoy it quite a bit. However, I could do without all the "shredding" the kids seem to love. They didn't get burned out on it in the late 80s like I did, I guess. Like Strung Out, I really like this band in spite of that guitar wankery rearing its ugly head every once in a while.

Lots of people don't realize but Ben and Laura (vocalists/guitarists) used to be in a metal band, Light This City. Shredding probably comes natural in their songwriting. Just a guess.

icapped2pac (August 2, 2011)

Well, I'm a thirtysomething and I enjoy it quite a bit. However, I could do without all the "shredding" the kids seem to love. They didn't get burned out on it in the late 80s like I did, I guess. Like Strung Out, I really like this band in spite of that guitar wankery rearing its ugly head every once in a while.

theproblemwithfire (August 2, 2011)

band name just sucks. nothing "tough" about it... but heartsounds?? are you serious? it just doesn't sound good, in my opinion. it might work for some synth dance duo or something, but it would still be a stupid name to call a band.

still don't get the hype. this sounds like 4th rate a wilhelm scream b-sides... it's like music for 12 year olds who just got our of their simple plan phase.

MuhammadMormon (August 2, 2011)

Just like their first album, the cover-art is 50 times better than the music that lies within.

onegirlarmy (August 2, 2011)

Record is fucking awesome. A few things though:

- What's the big deal about their name? There's worse names, I think it fits nicely. Sorry its not punk or tough enough, lawlz.
- They don't have the BEST lyrics but they aren't that bad. I Climbed For Miles, Every Second Counts, Elements, Drifter etc all have pretty good lyrics I think. Don't Talk With Your Mouth Open, yeesh... which is a shame cause musically that song is great and one of my favorites.

fattony (August 2, 2011)

Love this band, but holy shit do they have the worst name ever. They had to have chosen it on a dare or something.

preston (August 2, 2011)

I think I like the last one better. Good overall. Lyrics have never been their strong suit, but on "Don't Talk With Your Mouth Open" they are cringeworthy.

Alien (August 2, 2011)

This is pretty killer.

exitenglish1208 (August 2, 2011)

absolutely love this and their first album, not a bad song to be found

theproblemwithfire (August 2, 2011)

worst band name ever?

hismadness (August 2, 2011)

Sounds pretty cool. I actually wasn't a huge fan of the last album, but more technical? I'll give it a spin.

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