Hear the Sirens - Rebel Hearts Lost (Cover Artwork)

Hear the Sirens

Rebel Hearts Lost (2009)

Silly Girl

With Honor called its first full length Heart Means Everything. While I always thought it was a strange record title, in punk rock there is no truer statement. In the early `80s the birth of American hardcore showed that lack of instrumental skill could be overshadowed by intensity and meaning. In contrast, we've all heard those perfect musicians that could never move anyone, relying only on technical ability. That's not to say that technical ability is a bad thing; rather, if a band can combine heart and skill, it will make for an unstoppable combination. Hear the Sirens is by no means a perfect band, but the band makes up for its flaws by always erring on the side of heart and it works to make for a strong and sometimes moving take on the Lifetime post-hardcore template.

While pointing out the inherent passion in these tracks, I don't mean to say that Hear the Sirens aren't a good band. In fact, the songs are well written, chock full of guitar leads and stylistic shifts. However, it is the driving and fierce drumming and go-for-broke style of the vocals that stands out. There are few misses in the vocal department, but the sincerity makes up for it every time.

Of course, with bands of this style, the lyrics have to deliver, and Hear the Sirens does an admirable job with relatable topics that mostly explore that late teens / early 20s theme of not wanting to grow up: "They say to choose a path, left or right and these rights or wrongs, fuck them, let's keep singing our favorite songs." In addition, the record opens nicely on "To New Beginnings" that starts out with the inspiring call, "Fall down with the best of us, the only difference is we get back up."

While I thoroughly enjoy this release, there a few things keeping it from a four-star rating. The big one is that it feels just shy of a complete statement. It doesn't quite reach the promise hinted on their 2007 7", and actually, the two re-recorded songs from that release are probably among the best tracks on this full-length. Also, I've fallen out of love with the standard acoustic song on every punk record. The acoustic entry on this one suffers from a few too many passes through the chorus. In addition, while the singer's over-sung punk rock voice fits well over the full band sound, it is too aggressive overtop an acoustic guitar and is occasionally grating.

Rebel Hearts Lost is a solid release and should appeal to fans of the Orgcore sound. It has impassioned vocals, fast tempos, and a heartfelt lyrics. What more do you want?