Released: Aug. 5, 2008
It’s been seven years since Hawthorne Heights officially formed. Fragile Future, released last Tuesday, is only their third album.
What’s taken them so long? Was it their dispute with their record label, world touring, or maybe the death of vocalist/guitarist Casey Calvert in late 2007?
No. It shouldn’t have taken the band seven years to release three 11- and 12-track carbon copies of every other album in their genre. Fragile Future could just as well be a new album from Dashboard Confessional, Something Corporate, Yellowcard, Taking Back Sunday or New Found Glory, not to mention the thousands of other “underground” bands that sound exactly like the aforementioned, minus production quality.
There’s nothing new about Fragile Future, just like there’s nothing new about poppy hardcore emo, or whatever the official genre title is – no matter how much you argue about the genre differences between Hawthorne Heights and New Found Glory, they really are the same. There’s not much out there that can save the genre if you’re looking for creativity and originality, or even talent for that matter.
But really, what’s the real motive behind their songwriting process? Do they really think they’re coming up with something new each time they cut and paste the same chord progressions and broken-heart lyrics into every song they put out?
Or are they banking on their oblivious fans and supporters to fuel their paychecks? If so, it’s worked so well that they almost deserve it, and they sure won’t stop any time soon.
Listening to this album is like listening to the buzz of a light bulb for 40 minutes straight. Luckily, each song averages only at around three and a half minutes – perfect for soccer club road trips or for anyone with the attention span of an 8-year-old in a statistics class.
It seems like the whole whining thing has lost some of its popularity with the rise of bands like Fall Out Boy and Panic at the Disco, whose horse-neighing vocals have established a new brand of suck in the pop scene. Even so, Calvert’s death left the band screamer-less, with only lead whiner JT Woodruff at the forefront. “Desperation,” by far the most annoying and whiny track on the album, possibly mourns for Calvert’s screaming the most.
The album is at its musical best during the Death Cab for Cutie-styled intros to “Disaster” and “Corps of Corpses,” which last less than a minute before the ever-predictable ejaculatory release of guitars and whining. Then, it’s the same crap over and over again.
Keep lapping it up, there’s plenty left.
-Justin T. Ho
Give these tracks a listen:
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