Review Summary: "What if we make a space rock album where the bass and drums prominently drive the songs so that our guitarists can float melodies around like a couple of post hardcore butterflies? I should probably stop screaming if we do."
Hopesfall albums are generally more uplifting than anything and retain a strong introspective approach. A Types lets these qualities shine through. This was the third LP for the band and is a major change from their previous catalogue. One of the more note-worthy changes in A Types is front-man Jay stopped screaming and instead sings in all styles soft, melodic, and throaty wail. Lead single 'Icarus' explodes straight into what feels like a chorus, starting the song with no warning at all. That first thirty seconds highlights the entirety of A Types; every instrument shines without signature walls of sound that the band has tasked themselves with creating on every other release, whether it be natural or by choice.
And seemingly the more hopesfall will release new albums, such as Magnetic North and Arbiter, the stranger A Types will get. Before and after you could say Hopesfall was a band that always layered dense tracks one after another, but A Types is bare boned half the time it is running. You have a bass, two guitars, and drums leading you from one section of a song to another with a clear consensus on where things are headed and what you are hearing with no distractions. No drowning wall of sound is going to paint an "artsier, layered" approach to A Types. Your favorite parts of A Types will be when the bass does this or the guitars do that, thus making A Types timeless in Hopesfall's discography; you can tell someone it was the sequel to Arbiter or Magnetic North and if they didn't know any better they would probably believe it.
Pounding drums are brought higher into the mix, giving A Types a constant feeling of immediate attentiveness. The bass usually drops direct straightforward rhythms prominently complimenting everything else, but also seemingly acts as conductor, grooving and literally sliding all over. The bass and drum combo on "Icarus" is gorgeous for instance, but the guitar harmony during the verses of songs are utterly enjoyable. Six stringed instruments playing incredibly melodic riffs still possess some of the density which characterized Satellite Years, as if to ask everyone "hey do you see what I'm doing over here". The harmonized guitar lays hidden at times and pops off randomly taking you off guard on many songs only to emerge on the next section with a very persuasive presence of m/ riffage.
A Types is welcoming and entertaining, creating a heart warming affair. It simply can't be stated enough how rewarding it is to hear an album that has nothing holding it back. The songwriting is impeccable and the whole album bangs rhythmically. Each instrument has its own job in the system and stands out for sticking to a rigid plan. Such well behaved music shouldn't sound this good.