Hawthorne Heights

The Rain Just Follows Me

Written by: PP on 26/12/2021 17:02:02

Years have been unfair to Hawthorne Heights. From their iconic origins on "The Silence Of Black And White", which catapulted them into the mainstream spotlight, followed by a subsequent downward spiral to an emo cliché in the eyes of many, their later years have in reality produced several solid records that never received the appreciation they deserved, thanks to largely unfair criticism attributed to their cliché emo reputation. Of course, recent records like "Skeletons" and "Zero" did little to change that perception, but if you look deeper into their back catalogue you'll find brilliant records like "Fragile Future" and particularly the "Hate" part of their "Hate/Hope" dual release ten years ago. Now, we missed out reviewing their 6th album "Bad Frequencies" (or 8th, if you count "Hate" and "Hope" as albums but discount the acoustic rendition of the debut), but it's time to revisit the emo legends on their new album "The Rain Just Follows Me".

Just as the title suggests, we're dealing with a signature-style Hawthorne Heights record. It's a melancholic, anguished record dealing with negative thoughts and feelings, as depicted by its title track. Songs like "Tired And Alone" showcase the signature style Hawthorne Heights sound at play from quiet/loud dynamics to the interplay between clean and screamed vocals, emotionally-charged verses, and brightly melancholic chorus hooks to draw you in. In other words, this is a record that's faithful to older Hawthorne Heights sound, and to the early 2000s-style post-hardcore and emo in general from the backing screams to the higher-pitched crooned cleans and emotional lyrics.

Mark McMillon's addition to the band since "Bad Frequencies" has resulted in a resurgence of thickly screamed backing vocals, whereas Micah Carli was never a good enough match to the originals by Casey Calvert early in the band's career. As a result, songs like "Constant Dread" sound nostalgically familiar to any fan of the band's earlier output, while "Thunder In Our Hearts" continues along the lines of "Fragile Future" style bright, yet angsty sing-alongs. Anberlin and Armor For Sleep continue to be the primary references alongside Senses Fail and hints of Silverstein, which tells you right away we're amid the emo heights of circa 2005-2006 or so.

Your opinion on "The Rain Just Follows Me" will likely depend on whether you liked Hawthorne Heights in the first place. For fans, it's a nice continuation of what works without unnecessary forays into strange territories. Songs like "Words Can't Hurt" are catchy in their melancholic tone, yet they aren't going to convert you from a HH hater into a fan anytime soon. In that sense, you could argue Hawthorne Heights are stubbornly churning away, releasing solid emo/post-hardcore albums without much fanfare, and this album is probably the best one they've made since "Hate".


Download: The Rain Just Follows Me, Holy Coast, Tired And Alone, Thunder In Our Hearts
For the fans of: Senses Fail, Silverstein, Anberlin, Armor For Sleep, A Thorn For Every Heart
Listen: Facebook

Release date 10.09.2021
Pure Noise Records

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