Have a listen to 'A1'
Halcyon Hope – Onward To Fracture Town
Release Date: 7th October 2016
Discretion Is Paramount Records
Meet Danish emo rockers Halcyon Hope, hailing from the town of Odense. The band is a four-piece who showcase their love for emo favourites such as Brand New and Taking Back Sunday, coming close to mimicking their sound, but with a twist of pop-punk influence too. The group presents twelve melodious, energetic and emotive tracks in the form of their latest effort, ‘Onward To Fracture Town’
We sense that Taking Back Sunday vibe straight away on opening track ‘Against The Wall’, the acoustic riff strums sound almost identical to the intro of the iconic TBS hit ‘Cute Without the E’. The soothing verse vocals melodies are almost Adam Lazarra-like it actually makes you wonder if this is a B-side rip-off. Then the chorus kicks in and you pick up that pop-punk influence, chirpy riffs and upbeat singing melodies, reminding you of Motion City Soundtrack without a synthesiser. Follow-up track ‘Wear Me Like A Crown’ continues to be heavily influenced by TBS, forcing me to take a trip down memory lane to ‘Tell All Your Friends’. It has that same sit in a room watching the rain drops drip down your window as you listen to sappy songs kind of atmosphere that early to mid-2000s emo contained. Two tracks with varied dynamics, which are then blended in ‘Marshland’. The track flows from a form it alt-rock ballad with a catchy uplifting chorus which you can’t help but sing along to. I’m thinking the sombreness of Creed mixed with the Foo Fighter‘s ability to create a hit song. It’s a really stand out song.
Early on into ‘Onward To Fracture Town’, you understand the backbone of Halcyon Hope, their influences are thrown in your face enough that it is hard to ignore. With that being said the album is still unpredictable in a sort of predictable way. You expect the uplifting numbers and the slow burners, but on an initial listen they stick catch you off guard. ‘Once A Sleepy Backwater’ for one starts off high-tempo with an array of hard hitting drum rolls, it quickly hooks you in and slowly moves into a softer alt-rock emo piece with a catchy ending and repetitive lyricism. I do like pop-punk drum solo for the outro, very Travis Barker. ‘Clandestine’ then follows up as a melodic slow burner, the get your lighters out kind, with ambient melodies and quiet drum beats.
The majority of the album follows a similar formula of switching between softer songs and charming hooks without pricking your ears a great deal. ‘A1’ is the only real exception as it is easily the catchiest song on the album. More chirpy melodies and an infectiously attracting chorus, it’s destined for radio play. The dynamic then switches to the most sombre of album closers in ‘Tomorrow’. Much like ‘Clandestine’, it’s a pure slow burner for the most part, which evolves into an epic outro with intense atmospheric strums and impactful drum fills. It pushes for the “big ending” and it works
This album reminds me of a time when I really liked emo and post-hardcore, it almost makes me feel nostalgic of the bands I once listened to on repeat. It’s well written, performed well and mixed brilliantly, it’s hard to fault this effort on a whole. The catchy emo vibe is a nice twist, even if it becomes somewhat repetitive six or so songs in. But Halcyon Hope has a way of hooking you back in towards the end.
For fans of Taking Back Sunday, Brand New, Motion City Soundtrack