Halocene Ė Can You Hear Us Now?
Record Label: Unsigned
Release Date: September 30th, 2011
One of the things about life is that youíre probably not the very first person to do something. Chances are itís been done before. Music is no different. Itís very difficult to make something wholly original anymore. Reviews on AP.net (and just about everywhere else) will say, ďRecommended if you like.Ē I am not putting that at the bottom of my reviews any longer, starting with this here review. It is essentially comparing the current music to music thatís come before it. Quick examination: Britney was dubbed the next Madonna. Now, Lady Gaga is our version of Madonna. Usher was supposed to be the next Michael Jackson. Then Chris Brown was. People even thought that original Hit The Lights were trying to copy Fall Out Boy (hence ďThe Call Out (You Are The DishesĒ). Itís part of rating things; you compare it to other things that preceded it. In the morphed genre of pop/punk, itís entirely rampant.
If youíve read my other reviews, youíll see that Iíve reviewed several female-led groups. In each of those reviews Iím sure Iíve drawn parallels to Paramore. In this genre, you canít get away from it. Paramore really did things that no other group had done and they did it successfully. When Riot! went platinum, and they became uber famous, parallels were even drawn between Paramore and No Doubt. They have no grounds other than both bands being fronted by a pretty eccentric female, but you see what Iím getting at. It got me to thinking about the situations being reversed. Truth is, there probably wouldnít be a Lady Gaga without Madonna. No Usher without Michael Jackson. No LeBron James without Michael Jordan, to bring in something outside the music world. In an attempt to review another female-led group, Halocene, without drawing parallels to Paramore, I will simply pretend like Paramore doesnít exist. Itís the only fair thing to do. When reading it, try to envision the same. Okay, break.
Let me start the review of Can You Hear Us Now? by saying Iím very critical of female singers. For whatever reason, I scrutinize their music a lot more than I do male vocalists. I think thatís because I prefer the tone and pitch of male vocals, something that female vocalists simply canít do physically. Not a knock on them. Just facts and just preference. With that said, I really like Haloceneís vocalist, Addie Nicole. Itís pure, but powerful. Itís perfectly suited for pop/punk (5 alliteration points).
The album starts with ďFragile and the Frail.Ē After listening to this album through several times, Iím glad they chose this to start the album. The chorus, itís so catchy that itís almost annoying, and I mean that in a good way. Thereís even a very soft breakdown towards the end that makes the track even better. ďSometimesĒ is an angsty female anthem, and also catchy. I kind of think of Alanis Morissette and Meredith Brooks. Guitar work in this song makes it even more enjoyable. ďRecklessĒ and ďToxicĒ bring out the rock, but again have the sound of a Morissette or even a dash of Benatar. Good old-fashioned music. ďNext Best KissĒ shows off the softer quality of Addieís voice and itís a nice change-up from the first four tracks. She gets back to business with ďLook What You DidĒ though. A song or two later we get to ďDonít Leave,Ē the slowest track on the album. But donít confuse slow with not being good. Itís one of the best here. The 11-track album ends with ďLast Dance.Ē Iím glad they went out with this song. Itís a bit dark and I even hear a bit of Panic! in there, where it gets really catchy. Itís probably my favorite on the album. On a very good album. Now, letís huddle up again.
Now, Iíve stayed away from the Paramore comparisons for as long as I could. There are many similarities and parallels to be drawn, but where others have fallen short, Addie stacks up. Thatís only a compliment in my eyes. Her voice has so many qualities that make it sound like Hayley; thatís just something you canít get away from. The thing that should be taken away from this album is that itís very good. My last few reviews havenít been that favorable because I was left wanting more than I got. At the end of Can You Hear Us Now? I was left pleasantly fulfilled. The music is good. The vocals are good. The instruments are good. The production (self-produced by Bradley Amick) is good. So, forget the comparisons. What I want for this band is for them to make it because of the quality of their music, not fail because people think theyíre a Paramore knock up. Donít get it twisted. In another world, Paramore is the next Halocene.
1. Fragile and the Frail
5. Next Best Kiss
6. Look What You Did
7. Red Dress
8. Donít Leave
9. Say All You Want
10. Worth It
11. Last Dance
Band members: Addie Nicole, Bradley Amick, Cash Hart
Produced By: Bradley Amick