Halfwayhome - A Brand New Subdivision (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


A Brand New Subdivision (2004)

Death Scene

The OC's Halfwayhome, in just about three years work, have nabbed spots on the Warped Tour as well as opening slots for Finch, Thursday and Sugarcult, and I bet their fans liked these guys too; they're going for the same crowd. I can see these guys getting big; it's the kind of stuff the kids like.

Halfwayhome's disc starts in a Thrice-like technical manner, but after a full listen the album ends up sounding more like former labelmates Story Of The Year, then known by the stupid moniker Big Blue Monkey. These guys are kinda hard, kinda emo, and pretty melodic. They are also kinda like a lot of stuff you've heard already. Nevertheless, they do it quite well and could hold their own among the Taking Back Thursdays to the ears of the teenage mall crowd. The disc is well-produced and the musicianship is top notch. They also know how to write a killer hook with some bite, which puts them ahead of a lot of the wannabees of this genre. However, they do not add anything or put any sort of spin on this now-tired style. It doesn't have to be anything goofy or really weird, but something to make them stand apart. This feels like a retread.

There are some catchy songs here, though. "Architect Of My Demise" has one of my preferred melodies on the disc in its chorus, with nice harmonies to boot. "Open The Sky" is another damn catchy tune with a bit of a classic Saves The Day feel. "The Truth Can Be A Brutal Business" has a great repeated hook at the end: "Do yo-ou believe in happy endings / ‘Cause this line ended so long ago", all overtop a complex, metered riff that they make seem oh-so simple and smooth.

I can see this band getting big on the coattails of the aforementioned bands, because the mallrats aren't sick of this stuff yet, right? Still buying it up? To the band's credit, they are good musicians and write a catchy tune, but I wouldn't buy it myself. I've had enough.