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ALBUM REVIEW: Hartsick – Our Hollow, Our Home

Let’s be honest here right from the off, the metalcore scene is over saturated. As one of the biggest trends in heavy music over the last few years however, it was bound to happen eventually. Just like nu-metal at the turn of the millennium and the emo revival in the mid 00’s, for every diamond there was a piece of coal. For every KORN, an ILL NINO. For every MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE, a NEVERSAYNEVER. For every PARKWAY DRIVE, a THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA. In this day and age, it takes a lot to stand out nowadays in amongst the average and mediocre of metalcore without going to drastic lengths like dress in pink tutu’s and use giant snails during live shows. With this in mind, it’s so refreshing and wonderful to make the following statement: OUR HOLLOW, OUR HOME are going to be one of the biggest revelations of 2017. Formed four years ago in Southampton, the band’s debut record Hartsick is released on Friday and you will want to wrap your ears around this record because it’s an absolute beauty.

What makes Hartsick so special is that, whilst it does follow the well-trodden path of combining clean/screamed vocals and incorporates more breakdowns than TWIN PEAKSLeland Palmer, there’s something so exciting and gripping present throughout that you can’t tear yourself from it. Nothing feels jaded either; the album flows beautifully and there isn’t a single moment where it feels like an extra blast of guitars or a guttural “Bleh!” has been shoehorned in for no apparent reason.

The highlights are in abundance: the growled pipes of Connor Hallisey in short opener The Sea Will Sleep morphing seamlessly into the soaring, anthemic singing of Lone Shark by guitarist Tobias Young, the pop-punk-esque choruses of Worm’s Wood that combine so beautifully with the harsher crunch of the guitars in the same song and the downright filthy drop during the excellent (and slightly Hybrid Theory tinged) Pride: Of Might and Mane following Hallisey‘s cry of “You fucking disgust me”. Best of all though is the title track which is viciously heavy one moment and superbly melodic the next, combining everything great about Hartsick and repackaging it in just over four minutes of pure brilliance.

A huge mention as well to second guitarist Josh White who bounces off Young with consummate ease and the awesome foundation of bassist Bobby Brooks and drummer Nick Taliadoros giving a thick slab of groove and bite to the proceedings – this is definitely NOT a situation where one person rises above the others because the five men that make up OUR HOLLOW, OUR HOME have thrown all of their talents into one giant cauldron and produced liquid gold.

This is an album of the year contender. It’s going to be up there with the best of them come the end of 2017 and the fact that OUR HOLLOW, OUR HOME aren’t even signed yet shows that they have an incredibly bright future ahead of them when they (inevitably) land that coveted deal off the back of this monster.

Rating: 9/10

Hartsick - Our Hollow, Our Home

Hartsick is set for release on March 3 via Hollow Music.

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