It is often hard for bands to not be compared to other bands in their genre, it happens all the time. In this case, Hondo Maclean are often compared to Funeral for a Friend. This is an accurate comparison. They come from the same place in Wales, and their first drummer is now the drummer of Funeral for a Friend. However, they managed to stray from the trappings that have for many ruined Funeral for a Friend. They are heavier, rawer, and feeling-led.
But let's get away from those comparisons now; let's look at how the album breaks down. The first track "Keithie's Done Himself a Mischief" doesn't mess about, and goes balls to the wall. It makes use of some of the techniques they go back to again and again on this album, including cookie monster vocals and palm muted single string guitar riffs, before breaking into a double bass drum break with some cookie monster over the top. It's a great start to the album, and the lyric "I'm not the dumb cunt what's pissing blood", makes it all worth it. Hilarious.
The next two songs calm it down slightly, whilst still bringing in moments which are well worthy of a head bang. One of my personal favourites then follows, "Weightless". This gives drummer Jake Thomas a chance to show how much he can provide perfect backing to the rest of the band, whilst keeping a great amount of interest in the drum beats. He is definitely a good drummer.
Then there are three more tracks continuing the previous motif, although this is not a band thing whatsoever. They carry it with so much confidence, whilst putting a new spin on things, which really works. The two worst tracks of the album follow, with more of a soft approach for the first, followed by a heavier approach for the second. The second of the two is the most throw-away of all on the album, "Intensity in 10 Cities". It doesn't offer too much new from a lot of other bands in the post-hardcore scene, throwing in some one chord riffs and fast drums. Still, it's a good effort.
Then comes the last track, entitled "Mortal Kombat". Whilst there are only ten tracks on the album, which is kind of disappointing, this track makes the whole album worth it. It was originally recorded on their "Plans for a Better Day" EP, but has now been revamped. Containing references throughout to, you guessed it, Mortal Kombat, the band displays everything which makes them great. A clean breakdown kicks in which gives you time to rest before a brutal finish, ending with vocalist Ben Woosman shouting "Flawless Victory", calling a close to a great album.
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