Hindsight - Chapter XIII
Record Label: Hindsight
Release Date: June 24, 2012
Upon first listen, it's usually easy to distinguish the albums that will grow on you from the ones bound to collect dust on the shelf. Sometimes, you find yourself stuck with a release that seemed to show promise yet fails to deliver; but if you're lucky, you'll catch a hint of something special that continuously demands another listen. Fortunately for us who left our hearts stuck in the early 2000's and recently just found them again in "the wave", Hindsight has supplied us with a fresh batch of emotional-punk to keep our attention for some time to come.
Chapter XIII is consistent release, if anything. The opening title track instantly pulls you in, refusing to let go in a 60-second sea of distortion and layered vocals. By the time you get any chance to make a first impression, we are instantly thrust into a roller-coaster ride of Title Fight-esque riffage and song structure. Heavy-hitting guitars and dual vocals dominate "Mindless", pretty much setting a template for the rest of the EP to follow in the vein of artists we've missed such as Hot Water Music. The band cranks up their Basement influence on "Reunion", showcasing what the band does best- the bridge grooving at a slow and heavy pace. The drum work on Chapter XIII is another highlight that flows seamlessly throughout.
That "hint of something special" I mentioned comes in two ways- the first being in the form of "Locked In". Introduced as a slow-burner with the bass center-stage, vocals become echoed before exploding into a fast and fun way to (almost) close the EP. Just as you think Chapter XIII has reached its conclusion, Hindsight reaches new heights with screams as the song completely breaks down (not to be confused with a breakdown), and tears itself apart. This is the first time we hear this amount of intensity come from the band, and they do a damn good job of utilizing it. Let's hope to hear more of it in future releases.
The second time we hope to catch a glimpse of the future is almost on opposite terms- the acoustic rendition of "Mindless" closes out the Chapter XIII with a different side of the band, while keeping the same amount of emotion that ruled the track in the first place. The low-set vocals we hear first set the mood for what follows as a song that is, simply-put, beautiful.
While this EP is not perfect (the filler of "Tally Marks" begins to just blend in like a continuation of "Mindless"), it is important to note that the reason Chapter XIII succeeds is because it is literally the sounds of a band growing. There are times where the vocals could use a little work, the music could be matched up a bit better, and the production isn't perfect; these are minor drawbacks that almost keep the record as intriguing as it is. In a way of life where imperfections are what we learn to love about our favorite records, this is the sound of progress in every sense. While it may be a cliche way to end a review, it's releases like this that create a genuine interest and excitement for a band finding their place.