Review Summary: Combine Minor Threat's straight edge lifestyle with Modern Life is War's epic song writing, and you have Have Heart's "Songs to Scream at the Sun."
“Songs To Scream At The Sun”
On August 8th, 2006, HAVE HEART crept up and attacked the entire hardcore scene with their debut album “The Things We Carry.” The band’s first full length received positive feedback, many hailed it as the “Hardcore Album of the Year.” HAVE HEART had not only successfully created a name for themselves but for hardcore in general. Few other bands at the time were producing such energetic, youthful, honest songs at the time. The well respected straight edge five-piece from Boston, Massachusetts created one of the most faithful fan bases across not only the nation, but across the world. They were destined to be popular from the very start. Now they bring us their second full length, “Songs To Scream At The Sun.” In most cases sophomore albums are the major factor in determining whether or not the band will progress or fall apart. HAVE HEART has succeeds in creating the most personal, the most dark, and the most meaningful hardcore album written in recent years.
While hardcore itself has progressed and changed in the past 3 decades, the message has still remained true. HAVE HEART could have wrote a generic album about how they hate their jobs, or politicians, or their relationships, but instead they focus on what means most to them: their straight edge lifestyle and one influenced them to live a life of purity. Bostons
is essentially a summary of the album. This song delivers some of the personal and powerful lyrics ever put into a hardcore album:
“o' your friends say boston's beautiful,
but they didn't live hard, they didn't die hard
when sons dragged out their fathers from bars.”
Not since Minor Threat started the straight edge movement, has it been so well delivered. The lyrics come out like poetry, as if it being preached, but not begged. Honestly, I can’t remember the last hardcore song that has delivered such a powerful message in three lines.
Not only are the lyrics progressing, but also the song writing itself. While HAVE HEART has always had their distinctive style, they have strayed away from flat out hardcore, and it has vastly improved their sound. Their sound is more spine chilling and epic then ever before. The last album I heard that truly gave me a serious case of the goose bumps was Modern Life Is War’s “Witness.” On “Songs To Scream At The Sun,” HAVE HEART is not outfit to create such a unique sound, but they accomplish it very well. Instead of the same fast paced drumming, and lighting fast rhythm guitars, the slow it down, while still remaining as heavy as they did on their previous effort. There are no traditional breakdowns or 2-steps on this record, as they focus more on delivering a message, rather then fitting the mold. Whether it be the clean guitar intro to Hard Bark On The Family Tree
or the vocal solo on The Same Sun
the band is able to create a monumental piece of work while still remaining true to their hardcore background.
Overall, HAVE HEART’s “Songs To Scream At The Sun,” is not only going to be a strong contender for “Hardcore Album of the Year,” but it is arguably the best hardcore album in recent years. The only thing prevented this album from being a classic, is the fact it clocks in at around 21 minutes. You will find that this album goes by very fast, and in the blink of an eye it is gone. However the unfortunately short 21 minutes is packed with memorable songs, no fillers, meaningful lyrics, epic songwriting, and a message that is so strong it will make a binge drinker put the bottle down.
4 / 5