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Heartsounds - Drifter Album Cover

Heartsounds - Drifter

Reviewed by
8.3
This review was written by an AP.net staff member.
HeartsoundsDrifter
Release Date: July 26, 2011
Record Label: Epitaph

Heartstrings: what a boy band plays. Heartsounds: get punk or die trying, an attitude that many profess to wear on their sleeves but fail to make room for it in their hearts. After straddling the metalcore scene with Light This City, two members cracked open a fresh brew of punk passion and formed Heartsounds. A few popular media sites with reactions to the transformation suggested diehard fans of the previous band would reject the former shell replaced by Heartsounds -- the absence of haunting theatrics, no vulturous lion's roars from lead vocalist Laura Nichol, and the "good riddance" to epic storyboards. But to stay stuck only on entertaining those who prefer quibbling over apples and oranges would be a colossal waste of time, because the band has not outgrown its roots, just re-crafted them.

Scooped up by Epitaph Records, Heartsounds experienced upscale access to wider distribution, and a feeling of grand accomplishment by landing on a legendary punk label post metalcore triumphs. Though they stuck with the same producer combobulating the mixing boards
, Zack Ohren, the production on Until We Surrender sashayed with muddy guitars and under mixed female vocals, whereas Drifter became nothing short of a massive Epitaph debut.

Drifter salutes A Wilhelm Scream with heavy riff corralling in opener "Every Second Counts". Meanwhile, the noticeably fatter production allows Trey Derbes' monstrous tom attacks to bellow and shine. The guitars match sharpness with clarity that bleeds technicality and a metal persona that's ripe for the picking. The band's creativity and songwriting skills brandish a renewed stamp of fearlessness, and although sillier approached songs about backing up one's words ("Don't Talk With Your Mouth Open") may warrant an eye roll or two, self-preservation stands the test of time on highly melody driven "Drifter". Whether this is a credit to Brett Gurewitz's (Bad Religion) golden touch, Nichol's vocals get caught in the overpowering bug much of the time (see track "Echo"), but her naturally gargantuan delivery combined with the melodic harping of sidekick/co-guitarist Ben Murray make for a soothing match.

What even is a 'drifter'? A drifter wanders around without any rhyme or reason for where they end up, but sometimes they are searching for something he or she doesn't already possess, be it love, happiness, or a complete life makeover. The term 'drifter' unlocks the transitional story of Light This City becoming Heartsounds, and similarly from Until We Surrender to Drifter. If this was the end goal of Heartsounds, Drifter does it's job. And yes, even for the metal fans.

Recommended If You Like A Wilhelm Scream, Strung Out, Living With Lions, Protagonist


Additional Information
Track Listing:

1. Every Second Counts
2. Unconditional
3. Drifter
4. I Have Nobody to Betray
5. Elements
6. Race to the Bottom
7. Don't Talk With Your Mouth Open
8. Everything's Going My Way
9. Echo
10. You Are Not Your Body
11. Uncomfortably Numb
12. Nothing Happens for a Reason

Heartsounds is:

Ben Murray – vocals/guitar
Laura Nichol – vocals/guitar
Trey Derbes – drums
Kyle Camarillo – bass

Official Website; Official Facebook Page
 
Displaying posts 1 - 7 of 7
11:31 AM on 08/19/11
#2
vivatoto56
Your wick won't burn away
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Finally a review for this album. My AOTY thus far. Couldn't disagree more with your vocal rating though, they killed it.
11:40 AM on 08/19/11
#3
Dre Okorley
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Finally a review for this album. My AOTY thus far. Couldn't disagree more with your vocal rating though, they killed it.
Really? I think Laura's vocals are very very strong, but feel her pitch is off sometimes. Ben's vocals were more of a sound style issue for me. Their harmonies were sort of mismatched.
12:01 PM on 08/19/11
#4
vivatoto56
Your wick won't burn away
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Really? I think Laura's vocals are very very strong, but feel her pitch is off sometimes. Ben's vocals were more of a sound style issue for me. Their harmonies were sort of mismatched.

All things that i love about it. That's why I mentioned it's my AOTY, point out I have a bit of a bias.
12:02 PM on 08/19/11
#5
Dre Okorley
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All things that i love about it. That's why I mentioned it's my AOTY, point out I have a bit of a bias.
That's cool-- makes sense in that case. It's a great album, of course.
10:25 AM on 08/21/11
#6
mrotsch
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A spot on rating, although Mr. Brett only produced the vocals and the album was produced by the same producer as Until We Surrender. The lyrics are without a doubt the only weak part of this record. I enjoy the music on Drifter more than Until We Surrender but the vocals and lyrics on Until We Surrender put this to shame. Hopefully they'll find a happy medium on their next release.
11:26 AM on 08/21/11
#7
Dre Okorley
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A spot on rating, although Mr. Brett only produced the vocals and the album was produced by the same producer as Until We Surrender. The lyrics are without a doubt the only weak part of this record. I enjoy the music on Drifter more than Until We Surrender but the vocals and lyrics on Until We Surrender put this to shame. Hopefully they'll find a happy medium on their next release.
Thanks so much for the corrections. I'll make the adjustments! Also, agreed on the music.

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