ALBUM REVIEW: Half Hearted Hero - Whatever
Half Hearted Hero - Whatever
Release Date: January 15th, 2013
Review by: Michael Crawford
Ten seconds into Untitled, the band reels you in with thick guitar licks and slow, banging drums. The heavy-hitting intro transitions smoothly into the first verse, where singer Anthony Savino laments Turnin’ into something I swore I never would. If I burned it into nothing, at least I could feel good. Gang vocals round out the song and by the end of it HHH establishes a bleak, yet unique presence. River is a faster pop punk number that showcases how the band plays best; fast. Vessel is, to me, one of their more B&C-sounding songs, which I mean in the most positive of ways. Again Savino impresses, with acute observations like The stars are brighter when you die; until then they haunt you every night. Faint Feeling’s an acoustic short that serves as an interlude, but the vocals are a tad too faint to really sink in.
Framework and Good Terms are both fast and enthralling, especially the latter with fantastic lyrics, vocals and melodies. Direction starts with another taste of acoustic guitar, but wastes no time bringing the rest of the band back in. It’s hard hitting, and the good pacing allows them to vary things up nicely. Finally, Whatever is a pop punk behemoth that has a good shot being one of HHH’s anthems. The breakdown at around the 2:30 mark is particularly satisfying. An equal balance of punk and pop punk appeal, the band gives us a knockout punch of a final song.
Whatever is a very good album, and at times great. Half Hearted Hero is going to be a name to look out for in 2013, namely for their excellent musicianship and insightful lyrics. And they aren’t afraid to venture from the pop punk norms. Dreary, aggressive and relatable all at the same, the only flaw this album has is it’s not for everybody. If HHH can merge the grittiness of Whatever and the catchiness of their Running Water EP, then their best material may still be ahead of them.