Heart Attack Man - The Manson Family (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Heart Attack Man

The Manson Family (2017)

Triple Crown Records

Heart Attack Man showed a lot of potential with their Acid Rain EP. One of the criticisms I had was that they needed to get a bit more aggressive. The Manson Family finds me in awe, as they've done just that. It's a well-orchestrated balance of grungy, post-hardcore tunes and a set of power-pop jams on the backend, that give them a rich, diverse and crowd-killing sound. 

Their amped up songs feel like you're listening to old school Daylight, Sainthood Reps, Balance and Composure, but mostly, a lesser-known band called Better Off. If there's gonna be a new wave of these bands, HAM can certainly be the flagbearer. They're melodic hard rock draped with Eric Egan's deeply personal lyrics. His voice travels a lot, given that this started as a solo act, and he's on point as ever. "Burn Down The Mall" and "Life Sucks" are examples of this harder edge --  again, a la Citizen before Will Yip added his tempered down shoegaze spin. 

A lot of the album's steeped in depressive tones but when they approach territory of Joyce Manor, Oso Oso and Posture and the Grizzly, you get lighthearted breathing room. The self-titled track, "Sitting on the Fringe" and "Carbon Copies" typify this -- HAM can have fun when they want to, while cutting loose, reminding me at times of Sorority Noise's last record. Overall, this album surpassed expectations and continues to build on the promise shown.