Artist: Hearts & Hands
Album: Hearts & Hands EP
Just in case you didn’t know, Hearts & Hands is a side project for Alex Koehler. Alex is the vocalist for the deathcore band Chelsea Grin. Do you think this band will sound anything like them? Nope. Much to my surprise the band describes themselves as a metal/pop band. I’m not sure if that’s supposed to be a good thing, but I quickly found out after listening to the band’s debut self titled EP.
Since the debut from Hearts & Hands is only five tracks, I’ll make this brief. The first song is “Revenge.” It starts out pretty promising, Alex’s screams are very familiar and he shows some range with his high pitched screams to his deep growls. That’s when the clean vocals come in. Don’t worry, it’s not Alex: it’s Garrett Garfield of Becoming Everest, which is a hardcore band from Utah. He has a clean voice, and they don’t sound bad together. The main issue I have with this though is now they sound much like most post hardcore bands out there today.
The rest of the album follows the same general set up, and only offers a few unique musical touches here and there. While Garrett does have a great voice, he could easily be any other singer from one of the many other bands vying for attention. I will say though that “Choices” is my favorite track, it has a strong intro and has the catchiest chorus of any of the other tracks.
While I tentatively look forward to hearing what else these guys have to offer I’m pretty skeptical about the longevity of this project. The lyrics were a little weak at times, and I feel like the unclean vocals could have been utilized more. It feels like they intentionally set out to create a band who fits the description for the kinds of post hardcore bands that are being signed to labels in boat loads right now. Whether or not that’s the case, at least they managed to create something of their own that has some potential. Maybe.
Review written by: Kriston McConnell