Some people listen to music for the breakdowns and some people listen to music for the catchy choruses and clean vocals, while others listen for the technical side including guitar shredding and crazy fast drumming. For me, personally; a lot of it really has to do with the emotion in the songs. This next review comes from a band that is not new to this, they've been spitting straight up raw emotion into their songs since the day they started as a band. I present to you -- Heart In Hand!
Heart In Hand hails from Bournemouth/South Hampton in the UK and have been a band for approximately five years. In this short time, the band has managed to become one of the top melodic hardcore bands in the UK and made their way everywhere else. They have a self-titled EP, which was independently released, and a full length entitled Only Memories, which was released via Siege Of Amida Records. Despite being overseas, the band has also managed to grab the attention of several melodic hardcore fans over here in North America and have kept them hooked and waiting for new material. Their newest release, Almost There, is an album I've been anticipating for quite some time now. Being a huge fan of melodic hardcore and Heart In Hand in general, I thought I knew what was in store for me, but I didn't expect things to turn out the way they did.
Heart In Hand has always put so much emotion into their songs and speak to many different people all over the world through their lyrics. I respect them so much as people and as a band, and this new release made me think nothing different. Just like their previous release, Only Memories, Heart In Hand chock this newest release full of emotion, melodic riffs and interludes as far as the ear can hear. I've always admired the fact that the boys in Heart In Hand don't just try to rush through releases and actually give us a lot of listening time; more importantly a whole 45 minutes on Almost There. Like everything else they've released, we've got the inspiring lyrics with no lack of emotion, and another thing that I really enjoyed was the introduction of three different guest vocalists on three different tracks. I felt like each vocalist brought something different in their respective song. Mikey Chapman and Sam Douglas brought us some damn catchy cleans, while Dani Winter Bates of Bury Tomorrow brought us those harsh screamed vocals that we've grown to love from him.
The interludes in Almost There definitely made it a lot better than most melodic hardcore releases purely because you get the feel of a really great Heart In Hand song but also get the calming, melodic effect that they always bring as well whenever an interlude kicks for thirty seconds or even a few minutes. I love being able to just kind of relax in between a few songs and take a breather while also being calmed by the beautiful guitar work brought to you by Ollie Wilson and Ed Hartwell.
As far as I see it, this five-piece band honestly couldn't disappoint if they tried. They've carved their own little niche in a genre I hold so dearly, and for that, thanks just doesn't seem enough. From the beginning of the album to the end, we're left with nothing but everything anyone could ever expect from a melodic hardcore release, and with that being said, there's really nothing else left to write about Almost There. I'll leave you with my score and let you decide if these melodic hardcore kings take your heart like they did mine.