Hawthorne Heights - Bad Frequencies
Review by Shannon Shumaker
Reinvention doesn’t always have to be drastic, and Hawthorne Heights are proving that on their new album, Bad Frequencies. With a five year gap between their last full-length and the new release, the band has had the time to take a step back and make a few tweaks to their sound without forgetting their roots, and the result is a very upbeat and catchy release that comes just in time for spring and summer.
Right off the bat, Bad Frequencies feels significantly lighter and poppier than any of Hawthorne Heights’ previous work. In fact, the first two songs are some of the catchiest songs on the album. Opening track, “In Gloom” not only feels massive, but marks a change in sound for the band and a positive path lyrically in lines like, “I don’t wanna see the open road / I just wanna spend a year at home.” It is followed by the even more upbeat “Pink Hearts” which not only shines vocally, spearheaded by stunning harmonies, but also feels like early 2000’s pop-punk.
For fans of Hawthorne Heights’ older material, there are definitely a few tracks on this album that’ll transport you back in time, too. Songs like “Crimson Sand” and “A Perfect Way To Fall Apart” are sure to make you feel a bit nostalgic, but the best moments on Bad Frequencies are definitely the ones that break the mold and find the band stepping out of their comfort zone. Perfect examples of this are “Just Another Ghost” and “Starlighter (Echo, Utah).”
Bad Frequencies is significantly brighter and more hopeful than anything fans have come to expect from Hawthorne Heights, and it is definitely a welcome change. The only downside is that at times, it feels as if the band is riding the line between an older sound and something fresh and new. However, if you’re looking for a hint of nostalgia peppered between more upbeat sounds, Bad Frequencies is definitely the album for you. At the end of the day, there’s no denying Hawthorne Heights’ longevity, and Bad Frequencies both reminds you why you fell in love with the band over a decade ago while allowing them some space to grow and expand their sound.
LISTEN TO: "Pink Hearts"
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