Album Review
Hawthorne Heights - Hate Album Cover

Hawthorne Heights - Hate

Reviewed by
Hawthorne HeightsHate
Release Date: August 23, 2011
Record Label: Cardboard Empire
This review was written by an AP.net staff member.
Hate is a strong word. As a kid, I was advised by my parents to not use that word lightly, so much so that I would usually say “strongly dislike!” instead. But in Hawthorne Heights' case, hate is absolutely the right word to use. After the personal strife and label drama the band has been through, it only makes sense that they titled their first independent release Hate. The self-funded and self-produced EP features nine of Hawthorne Heights most volatile, vulnerable, and pissed-off songs. After a their brief stay at Wind-Up Records, the Ohio quartet decided to ditch record labels all together. They wanted to release music whenever they wanted to and however they wanted to, thus creating their own label, Cardboard Empire.

The first release in a series of three, Hate is sort of return to form for Hawthorne Heights. The heavier guitar chords, screamed vocals, and overall abrasive sound will harken back to the band's earlier releases, but even then they never reached the aggression level that Hate has. The eerie opener, “There Was A Kid (Part 1),” immediately sets the tone for the album, slowly but surely building into the crushing “Is This What You Wanted?,” which begins with pummeling drum work from Eron Bucciarelli. The frantic back and forth yelling between JT Woodruff and Micah Carli will remind fans of Emery's earlier work. The roaring “Divided” balances Woodruff's airy cleans with Carli's screams and creates a dynamic that has never sounded better from the band.

Really, Hawthorne Heights really lets it all go throughout the album, there is rarely any moments to catch your breath. “Wasted In NYC” features one of the best hooks in the HH discography, while “Stay Awake/Stay Alive” never lets up - the bridge is dripping with desperation. “Oceans” is one of the slower moments on the album, utilizing swelling guitar chords behind Woodruff's tale of isolation. Hate closes with Thursday-esque “Passengers,” a battle cry against the hypocrisies and to stand up against what the media and corporations shove down our throats.

It took a few years, but Hawthorne Heights is finally speaking up about their hardships and they aren't happy. Hate is a record that comes from a place of isolation, desperation, and, well, hatred. JT Woodruff holds nothing back lyrically, offering his most direct and vulnerable words yet. The instrumentation present on Hate is also top notch, delivering a resounding punch through and through. This is an anthem for those who are hurt, going through tough times, or just pissed at the world. Now five albums deep, Hate could be the definitive Hawthorne Heights album to date. The best part? They're just getting started.

Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 54
11:50 AM on 09/01/11
Brap Brap
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Never thought I would bother listening to Hawthorne Heights but this review has convinced me otherwise. Great job.
12:00 PM on 09/01/11
don't ask
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In response to the first line.

"But I really really really don't like you."
12:01 PM on 09/01/11
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I loved the first two phrases. My dad told me the same thing when i was a kid.
12:06 PM on 09/01/11
Why do you stay till you see blood?
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NateFoundGlory's Avatar
Yeah seriously, this EP is fantastic. And I was a pretty big HH hater for the longest time. Great review, Drew.
12:19 PM on 09/01/11
Registered Member
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Born_For_This's Avatar
Mispelled the drummers name at the end, but a good review. Really enjoying this so far, and very glad the screams are back.
02:14 PM on 09/01/11
Ryan Gardner
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Ryan Gardner's Avatar
Love this EP
06:53 PM on 09/01/11
Regular Member
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Quijiba's Avatar
why is there no album cover picture?

and this EP is great. Haven't liked listening to hawthorne heights this much in years
08:42 PM on 09/01/11
mas o menos
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EnZo's Avatar
didn't think that id ever be listening to these guys again...but the ep was great....oceans was the highlight for me...looking forward to the next two ep's
09:05 PM on 09/01/11
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.dot's Avatar
Great review. Even though I think Skeletons is a pretty decent album, I hardly listen to it. I think I'll be spinning Hate frequently. I think the lyrics could be better though.
01:32 AM on 09/02/11
Burnette Drive
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simplejack's Avatar

By the way, besides Saying Sorry I've never really listened to HH. Title track is good, so I'll probably check it out.
04:21 AM on 09/02/11
Registered User
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Nice review, great album!
09:19 AM on 09/02/11
PHI Flyers10
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PHI Flyers10's Avatar
Listened to the first two songs and wow. This sounds so fucking good. Never thought I'd get into this band but this EP is making me think otherwise.
09:29 AM on 09/02/11
Jake Waltham
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I like all of Hawthorne's previous albums but this EP is their best work far, I can't stop playing it. Hopefully they will get back some of the popularity that they had a few years ago, but I don't see it happening. It really saddened me to see last year that the 800 capasity venue that I saw them live in was half empty, as they are a great live band and greatly unappreciated.
09:39 AM on 09/02/11
It fills you with determination.
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Penguin's Avatar
I thought the production was a little lacking, but as an independent release, it's impressive. The album is still great, though.

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