Band: Have Heart
Album: Songs To Scream At the Sun
Label: Bridge Nine
1. The Same Son
3. Pave Paradise
4. On That Bird In The Cage
5. Brotherly Love
6. No Roses, No Skies
7. The Taste of The Floor
9. Hard bark on the Family Tree
10. The Same Sun
I have had quite a history with the so called “hardcore” genre. From the first time I heard Norma Jean’s, Bless The Martyr, Kiss The Child, I was sucked into the world of Drop D tuning and breakdowns, but my taste has changed a bit since then. I went through the phase where I got into heavy metal a bit, but it wasn’t my scene and I just compared everything to that first NJ album. Then I found the clearing in the forest of hardcore and it’s a sub genre I refer to as Boston-core. Sounds silly, but I cannot get enough of music from Bean Town. I know what you’re thinking: “James, you need to provide proof of why this music is so amazing,” well have no fear, I will. Just look no further than the amazing new release from Have Heart entitled, Songs To Scream At The Sun which was just released on Bridge Nine records.
Like all the best hardcore/punk albums, Songs begins with a quick intro to get you fired up for what is to come. “The Same Son,” serves as that track on this disc and from some quick guitar work to in your face drums and powerful vocals accompanied by gang vocals backings, this song makes your knees shake in anticipation for what is to come. The answer to the question of what could ever follow up this intensity is the instant classic, “Bostons.” This track not only keeps the energy high, but also addresses alcoholism and the “real” side of Boston that some never see. It’s a tale pulled from the history of vocalist Patrick Flynn’s father’s life. The passion behind the writing is perfectly portrayed musically and the brdige to close the song [though there is no chorus] is so catchy it could be on the radio. Seriously, I’ve been shouting, “your friends say Boston’s beautiful,” for weeks. “Pave Paradise,” addresses the love/hate relationship Flynn shares with touring and brings the angst like a bullet from a .45. This is met directly with the almost ludicrous start of, “On That Bird In The Cage,” which is about as “o woe is me, we broke up,” as you will find. There is no breakdown here, but more like a landslide style speed change that just make more apparent the technical skill of each member of Have Heart. Even though they play fast,that doesn’t mean it’s simple and you find that ten fold here.
The halfway point of the album starts a bit more relaxed with, “Brotherly Love,” a song whose bass line is about as heavy as a garbage truck. A subtle beginning [basically a chance to catch your breath," builds and swells into a driving, yet emotional song that is seemingly about death of a brother. It's powerful both musically and lyrically and just leaves you stunned. However, Have Heart don't want you sitting around in a stupor, so they bring us back to reality with, "No Roses, No Skies." the song is heavy and fun to move to, but just feels like it's lacking the intensity of the other songs. Not to make a pun, but it feels like it's lacking the heart that's driven the rest of the disc.
To close out the disc, I expected nothing less than face melting hardcore and it's pretty much exactly what I got. "The Taste of The Floor," last for less than a solid minute, but whips you into a frenzy like a tornado before letting you cool down with the solemn beginning of, "Reflections." Drums take the lead here [and are produced gorgeously] with the band laying background gang vocals behind the instruments for a feel that does make you think of how far they’ve come as a band and you’ve come thus far on the disc. However, there are two more tracks to go and those need some good attention themselves. “Hard Bark on the Family Tree,” is another song referencing family and Flynn’s apparent dark memories. It’s heavy and full of angsty passion that fills you with energy and makes you just want to throw down. Luckily, we can sue this energy to go out with a bang on the closer, “The Same Sun.” This song builds and builds before erupting with gang vocals, brutal drumming, and chugging guitars. There at least 3 sets of gang vocls/chants here and each one is unbelievable. The song and album end with a light of hope in the lines, “arise my soul, and sing,” which is about how you’ll feel or what you’ll want to do after hearing this album.
I have fallen in love with Have Heart. Songs To Scream At The Sun comes straight from the heart and is filled with more passion and intensity than any album you’ll hear all year. If you haven’t heard Boston hardcore, start here and be welcomed into the light. Don’t wait, find this band now. Go see them buy this album, a hoodie, a poster, anything, just support them. Real music is hard to come by in this over publicized era, but Have Heart are the real deal and we here at UTG cannot press them upon you enough.
*Written By: James Shotwell*