Hour Cast
Dystopia


3.5
great

Review

by Wunderbar007 USER (16 Reviews)
June 1st, 2010 | 8 replies


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A "Freakshow" indeed...

State of Disgrace was an album I fell in love with instantly. Patrick McBride (Vocals), Dave Henriquez (guitar/background vocals), Dave Sullivan (Bass), and Jerry Clews (Drums) had crafted a unique sound and had managed to stand out in an all too familiar genre. While they remained relatively unknown as a band, their music was interesting enough to hold a solid spot in my playlist to this day. Their return with their second album Dystopia was personally a highly anticipated event but sadly, while a few tracks reach the quality of their debut album, most disappoint.

From the first couple of demos posted on their MySpace weeks ago, I noticed a major musical overhaul. Streamlined instrumentals, simpler lyrics and general loss of weight to their sound were readily apparent and frankly shocked me as I expected a progression, not the opposite. Now with the full release in hand, my initial fears have been confirmed. The band has gone mainstream. So much so that the majority of the tracks on the album don’t even sound like the same band from four years ago.

The first three songs, “Drug Me”, “Little Miss” and especially “Big Deal” are not only similar in sound but are equally uninspired, boring, and average at best. The only things that keep them bearable are the vocals and the recording quality. “Attraction” and “Zombie” are definitely above average and are part of the handful of songs I can actually recommend. While they still don’t sound like anything you would hear on State of Disgrace, the new musical style actually works here, with a slightly heavier instrumental track and a catchier chorus. Unfortunately we are back to free falling with the following five tunes, hitting rock bottom with “Invisible” which sounds like a Nickelback filler, seriously.

“So why the positive score?” one might ask. Well, in an unexpected turn of events, the rest of the album (or most of it) actually sounds like the Hourcast (or close to it) that I love. When initially announcing the album, the band did mention keeping their familiar sound on some of the tracks; I just didn’t think it possible after the first ten. “Blue” and “Clockwork” swiftly proved me wrong, with the first reminiscent of “God failed” and the latter taking a page from one of my favourites “Freeze” off the debut. Adding to my new found grin was “Eden Shakes”, an initially acoustic song that grows heavier, has very good lyrics and is catchy as all hell. I was singing along on my second listen.

In the end, after fully getting through Dystopia once, I felt disappointed and yet happy that this band still exists. What you’ll find here is still better than most rock albums out there, especially better than what you’ll hear on the radio. Sure many of the tunes sound average and the lyrics leave much to be desired, but the sound is clear, catchy and upbeat, with amazing vocals and a handful of gems hidden within. This album actually reminds me of how I felt about Sick Puppies and their Tri-Polar release. Disappointed at first but with time, some of the tracks really grew on me as I’m sure some will here as well. At the very least Hourcast deserves a chance.



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user ratings (8)
Chart.
3.1
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
greg84
Staff Reviewer
June 3rd 2010


7421 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Well. This album certainly didn't let me down. It's different than State Of Disgrace, yet the songwriting is almost equally consistent. A strong industrial rock release for sure. Good review!

Digging: Dope Body - Lifer

Wunderbar007
June 3rd 2010


81 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thank you Greg! I was afraid I'd get no comments on this one whatsoever. Also, I'm glad you liked the album. It's far from perfect but it's certainly not bad.

greg84
Staff Reviewer
June 3rd 2010


7421 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I didn't get any response for my last review, so I know how it feels like. The album isn't perfect because they decided to include as many as 15 tracks on it. That's a bit excessive: I'd certainly get rid of some tracks from the middle of the record. Namely, Trust and The Last Thing.

Wunderbar007
June 3rd 2010


81 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Completely agree!

pg15
September 16th 2010


1 Comments


With all due respect, I disagree that "Trust" should be taken off the album. The lyrics were a little too simplistic, but I think he taps into the feelings of anger at our politicians and this current and previous administration that are spending and taxing away our future (therefore losing the American Dream). I do agree however that it isn't one of the strongest on the album. I think the Last Thing and Big Deal should be taken off the album and maybe "Trust" can be tweaked a little bit... otherwise it's a great album and I wish more people knew about them and their music... I definitely think some of it is radio quality and very catchy. The songs are very easy to memorize lol.

Wunderbar007
December 22nd 2010


81 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yea I wish more people would give these guys a listen as well. If not this album then definitely their debut.

Cipieron
November 1st 2011


3508 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I saw them open for Black Label Society a couple months ago and thought they were decent. Singer reminds me of David Bowie in a weird way.

Yeah, as mentioned, had they trimmed this down to maybe 9-10ish songs the album would be a lot stronger.

Wunderbar007
November 1st 2011


81 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yea and I honestly miss some of their heavy tracks from the previous release. Maybe next time!



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