Have Heart – Songs To Scream At The Sun
Release Date: July 8, 2008
Record Label: Bridge Nine
Not going to lie, when I first viewed the album art for Have Heart’s second full length, Songs To Scream At The Sun, I had to do a double take, as at first glance it looks oddly similar to the album art of one hit wonder Chumbawamba. Thankfully, the only tubthumping that occurs is from a result of the ten tracks that are featured on Songs.
I’m gonna be honest, I enjoy hardcore a lot, but I’m incredibly picky with what I listen to from the genre. One of the main criteria for a hardcore band staying in my rotation is how well they stay away from monotony on their album. “The Same Son” is a short opener that sets the tone with a ripping guitar riff and lively rhythm section, courtesy of bassist Ryan Briggs and drummer Shawn Costa.
This track immediately leads into the memorable “Bostons,” which is paced by huge cymbals and a machine gun beat from Costa and riffs that needle into your brain from guitarists Ryan Hudon and Kei Yasui. The song picks up halfway through and is anchor by the gruff vocals of Patrick Flynn. Add in a nice breakdown, and you have my favorite song on the album. “Pave Paradise” stings like a bee, while “On The Bird In The Cage” just shreds, thanks to Flynn’s passionate bark that leaves nothing behind.
“Brotherly Love” is an interesting track, a little slower than the previous songs, but with just as much, if not more, energy. It’s a key track, as it breaks up any chance for monotony on Songs, as the outro will cut through you. The album closes with “The Same Sun” (get it?), the longest track to appear on the album, clocking in at a second over three minutes. Costa’s drumming is superb and begins with a riff that sounds like the calm before the storm. It sums up the whole “brother/family” theme that comes up throughout the album, with rousing gang vocals tapering off into the final breakdown.
Hardcore is a niche genre, in my opinion, and is not for everyone. If you’re a hardcore aficionado, you already know about Have Heart and how good they are. Odds are this album is on your “must own” list. But for those not familiar with the genre and band, Have Heart is a worth a shot, as they incorporate different vibes and pacing with gritty production from Converge’s Kurt Ballou throughout Songs To Scream At The Sun. Regardless, it’s time to put Have Heart on your radar, as their music and message are something to Scream about.