Review Summary: An impressive sophomore effort from one of the genres best new talents.
Heartsounds is a pop punk band from San Francisco that formed in 2009 after vocalist Laura Nichols and drummer Ben Murray decided to call it quits on their previous project, Light This City. Feeling burnt out from playing only metal for 6 years they decided to re-live their passion and released their first effort Until We Surrender
with Epitaph Records. The debut was filled with infectious pop punk and memorable hooks, but the band is back to prove that they can raise the bar.
Heartsounds is an improvement over their debut in pretty much every aspect, what is most noticeable is the dual vocals with Murray’s slightly harsher voice and Nichols soothing lines. The first track shows this off and also shows off the bands more cohesive writing skills, especially with Murray’s guitar work pulling off some technicality that wasn’t shown on the debut, using metal melodies while making it still feel like pop punk is damn impressive. The first minute of 'Race to the Bottom'shows this off nicely and a shredding guitar solo in a pop punk song is always very satisfying.
Nichols vocal work is something that really shines on this album with tracks like 'Echo' and 'You Are Not Your Body.' She takes center stage and sings passionatley while also sounding like she’s having the time of her life, singing the lyrics “I'm drinking less in case I need to drive. You're drinking more to drown the hell that is this time, But you don't need that s***”
Heartsounds have expanded on their sound while retaining their metal roots, tighter songwriting and the dual vocals are really competent on this album and they play off each other flawlessly. My only complaint about the album is the closing track 'Nothing Happens for a Reason' doesn’t feel like a good closer for the album and to me it could’ve been placed anywhere, the track before it 'Uncomfortably Numb' might have been a more fitting finale with the band jamming away to bring the album to a close. I recommend this album for anyone who likes pop punk and it’s a good introduction to Pop Punk for anyone that likes metal.