Have Heart Ė Songs to Scream at the Sun
Record Label: Bridge Nine Records
Release Date: July 8th, 2008
Have Heart is one of those bands that I didnít get into until they broke up, which is a shame; the band broke up in 2009, but Iíve heard of them since then. I never really listened to melodic hardcore until a couple years ago, but even then, it was quite scarce. I was at my local FYE store a few weeks ago, and they had a sale going that was buy one used record, and get another for $1. Well, the CD had to be the same price or lower, and well, my luck had it, both CDs I bought were the same price. I bought Have Heartís last CD Songs to Scream at the Sun, and The Hush Soundís Like Vines, which is a record that I grew up with about six years ago. Regardless, I was really curious to checking Have Heart out, and Iím glad I did, because theyíre a really interesting band. Itís also a shame that they broke up, but thankfully, I do have music by them now, so their memory can surely live on in my speakers. So how is this record? Itís a very solid melodic hardcore record, in all honesty; itís 21 minutes of pure aggression and passion.
The record begins with ďThe Same Son,Ē and itís a minute-long ďintro,Ē so to speak, and it starts on a very aggressive note with vocalist Patrick Flynn screaming while guitarists Ryan Hudon and Key Yasui shred away; the song itself doesnít really do much for me, because itís really short and kind of stops before you really expect something to happen. Second song ďBostonsĒ is about three minutes, so thankfully, itís a full song. And this track really shows their brand of straightedge melodic hardcore. Flynnís scream isnít the best Iíve ever heard, but heís very passionate here. Thatís the first thing I really noticed about this band. As the record goes on, the record really seems to blend together, to so speak. The first couple tracks are very interesting, and really show what the band is made of, but as the record moves on, there are not too many tracks that are actually unique. To me, it seems like this band is trying to force their progression and maturity, so to speak, but it falls flat. Donít get me wrong, this is a very enjoyable album. Itís a very solid dose of melodic hardcore, but itís not the best record that Iíve ever heard, either. Regardless, there are a few standout moments on this record. For instance, fifth track ďBrotherly Love.Ē This track starts off with a rather melodic guitar riff, and thatís surprising, considering the first half of the record has been very aggressive. Flynnís vocals even take a spoken word approach for a brief moment, too, which is quite interesting to me. This track is certainly a highlight.
Going back to what I said about a lot of tracks not really being unique on here isnít necessarily that theyíre generic, itís just that every song sounds quite similar to each other minus a couple. ďBrotherly LoveĒ is one of the few tracks that really stands out to me, and so is the one-two punch known as ďThe Taste of the FloorĒ and ďReflections.Ē These are interesting tracks, too, because both of them are about a minute long. The former is a very aggressive track thatís just a nice short burst of hardcore, but it leads into the latter, which starts with a drum beat by drummer Shawn Costa, and the song seems to be an interlude, of some sort. I like this, because it is another moment of uniqueness. The band does have their own unique sounds, but the tracks do tend to run together. The album does end nicely, though, with ďThe Same Sun,Ē and I love that title because itís a clever spin on the beginning of the record thatís entitled ďThe Same Son.Ē Itís clever, and I like it. This song is a rather melodic track, and Flynnís vocals are insanely ferocious here, which really end the record nicely. In fact, his vocals are really one of the main things I like about this record, because theyíre so passionate and emotional, you can easily hear it. The record does end with him shouting, essentially, as the instruments go dead, and itís really cool, to be honest. Overall, melodic hardcore is a very good genre, but itís not my thing. That does not mean I wonít listen to it, but I donít listen to a lot of bands from the genre. This is one band I have been meaning to check out, and Iím glad I did, because I do enjoy them very much. Despite that, I think this record is a bit too short for my liking; Iím not very used to songs that are under 2 minutes, or at least, having a majority of the songs being that length or under, so it seems rather quick to me. Thatís a slightly nitpick, though, because itís not really a problem, but it can be if youíre not paying attention. Regardless, this is a very solid record, and any fan of melodic hardcore should really pick this up. Or at least, try to find a copy. The band is long gone, but their memory surely lives on. In fact, theyíve released a couple of live CDs and DVDs in the last few years, actually. Their memory is still going, thankfully.