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Half Hearted - Finding Light

Half Hearted
Finding Light
by Tim Bolitho-Jones at 06 October 2015, 9:32 PM

Contrary to what their name might suggest, Connecticut’s HALF HEARTED clearly put a lot of work into their newest release, the “Finding Light” EP. It’s one of those recordings where you can practically hear the artists bouncing off the walls of the studio, overcome with the sheer exuberant joy of getting their music out into the world. It’s passionate, enthusiastic and well-produced, but the trouble is they juggle two different styles that never quite gel.

Yes, plenty of bands before them have mixed harsh vocals and stomping power chords with melodic choruses and come up smelling of roses. HALF HEARTED however, come across like a band who couldn’t decide whether they wanted to make straight up Metalcore or Emo-infused Pop Punk so haphazardly welded both genres together. That might seem harsh, considering the success that A DAY TO REMEMBER have been enjoying recently, but as the EP progresses, it becomes clear this might have actually benefitted from ditching the heavy altogether.

Second track “Flying And Falling” is a textbook example. It kicks off with a digitally enhanced breakdown and flawless guttural vocals, before quickly turning into a NEW FOUND GLORY song. It goes from thirty seconds of crushingly brutal metal to a sugary-sweet pop record, where the word “understand” is stretched out to seven syllables, as if DYING FETUS were suddenly ushered out of the room so that ONE DIRECTION could take over. It’s a jarring transition, and unfortunately, it’s repeated throughout the other songs as well.

What’s especially frustrating however is that HALF HEARTED are equally good at being nasty and nice. The heavier parts are big, pit-igniting slammers that benefit from a glossy production and the softer parts are silky smooth charmers that could be a huge hit on mainstream radio. These latter parts dominate the proceedings however, the gruff vocals getting further and further apart but still they refuse to fully accept their sensitive sides.

In fact, in what may be for a first for METAL TEMPLE, we’d probably recommend they commit themselves to making Pop Punk rather than straddling two genres at the same time. They could be an excellent Metalcore band, but they seem to love the melody a bit more than the pit. And no, we don’t mean to use ‘Pop Punk’ as an insult.

2 Star Rating

1. Sold Soul
2. Flying & Falling
3. Hour: 11
4. Burning Bridges
5. Finding Light
Michael Mangan - Vocals (Harsh)
Sean Dalke - Vocals (Clean)
Marty Marion - Guitars
Jason Grandell - Guitars
Parker Fortune - Drums
Record Label: Independent


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