These Hearts – Yours to Take
Record Label: Victory Records
Release Date: July 9 2013
I don’t know what compelled me to listen to sophomore album Yours to Take by post-hardcore/easycore band These Hearts. Maybe it was the fact that I’ve heard this was an improvement from debut album Forever Ended Yesterday. That debut album fell short but it showed a few hints of potential in the mess that it was. The problem I had with the band was that they tried to incorporate so much, and it just didn’t work. They tried to be a pop, pop-punk, and a brootal metalcore band all in one, and it just didn’t work to their advantage. They were essentially the cookie cutter “scenecore” band, which left a lot of people scratching their heads, including my own. Thankfully, sophomore album Yours to Take is an improvement. It’s not perfect, but it’s a step in the right direction. There are still some kinks in their sound, so to speak, but it’s still very enjoyable. One thing that they haven’t lost is their sense of catchy pop hooks. If they had anything going for them on their debut record, it was their sense of catchy pop choruses that were quite catchy, even if their lead vocalist wasn’t so great. He’s improved, too, and his voice isn’t as high and whiny anymore as it used to be. The heavier side of them has also improved nicely, too. Granted, it’s nothing special, but it works for them. The one thing that helps mostly is the length of this album. While clocking in at only 32 minutes, and most of the songs not even reaching 3 minutes, that’s a nice length for an album like this. It’s short, quick, fun, and energetic, which is the perfect kind of record to release at the height of summer.
The record begins with “This Is Love,” featuring Bert Poncet, who is the vocalist of fellow easycore band Chunk! No Captain Chunk! I’ve never listened to them much, but he’s enjoyable on this track. As far as intros go, it’s a solid track. It doesn’t showcase their new sound off much, and it’s not the most memorable track on the record, but it does its job. By that, I mean, it shows off their improvements nicely. On their debut record, the breakdowns and screaming were really out of place, and didn’t make much sense. This record, on the other hand, has both “sounds” side by side, and one doesn’t quite overshadow the other. This is more of a metalcore/post-hardcore track rather than pop-punk, but it’s still enjoyable. Their more “easycore” songs appear later on, mainly throughout the middle of the album, specifically with songs like “Psycho,” “Miserable,” “Been Through Hell,” and “Birds of a Feather,” and coincidentally, these are most of my favorite tracks. They’re all rather short, except “Been Through Hell” is around three and a half minutes long, which makes it the longest track on the record. My favorite track, though, appears as the last song entitled “Never Mind Me.” This is a slower song, which is rather weird for them, but it works. It’s an acoustic/pop song, basically, and it’s a rather cute/sad song. I can relate to it, personally, because it deals with a guy in a long distance relationship. Even though I’m not in a band, I can still relate to the concept of that relationship. It’s a nice song, because it shows off the softer side of the band, while a lot of the record is very high energy. It’s great, but this song really ends the record on a softer note, which I enjoy quite a bit.
I’m not much of a fan of “easycore,” but when it’s done nicely, I can certainly listen to it. Personally, I like my pop-punk without breakdowns, but if you’re a fan of both pop-punk and post-hardcore/metalcore, bands like these are quite appealing. Not to mention, this record is really enjoyable because it’s an improvement. Granted, the breakdowns aren’t really interesting, but the pop-punk/pop-rock hooks are what keep me quite interested in this band. They’ve certainly improved since their debut record, and it’s a shock when a terrible band actually redeems themselves. I had to go listen to one of their older songs again for the first time in years just to see the comparison, and I wasn’t surprised when I still didn’t like their older material. This record, however, is a welcomed improvement that any fan of the genre can appreciate, I’m sure.
also, I agree with the line about the hooks keeping you interested in this band. some bands can do breakdowns quite well, but these screams/breakdowns are pretty damn terrible. I think they would be much, much better if they stuck to the pop punk hooks and maybe threw in an occasional breakdown but abandoned the bad screaming.