In Defense of Bands Changing their Sound

Hundredth, Photo: Jesus Martinez

Hundredth is a band hailing from Myrtle Beach, SC, that spent the first part of this decade releasing strong melodic hardcore records like Let Go and Free. Then, in 2017, they released the single “Neurotic”, a dreamy, post-rock song that caught my ear and stayed there. I was obsessed, but several fans were less than happy to see this heavy act employ a tonal shift.

Gone were the unclean vocals, and in were the guitars full of reverb. Despite essentially turning into a different band, I take no issue with this change. I see it as a reinvention of the performers, as everyone was on-board, with only a guitarist change occurring between the previous hardcore record and 2017’s shoegaze-y RARE.

Some may see this as alienating a band’s fanbase, which they have grown to love for one sound. I suggest listeners approach change with an open mind; some bands, like Bring Me the Horizon, still honor their past with a “heavy medley” during sets. But bands that devote themselves to the change are at risk of losing fans that signed up for one specific sound.

Title Fight during the release of Hyperview, VICE

Title Fight, upon the release of their vastly-different Hyperview, said the following during an interview with VICE: “I think the fact that it wasn’t exactly what people expected means they had to sit and digest it and work through the songs.” Taking songs at face value isn’t enough for a listener; while it is perfectly-acceptable to use music in the background, I feel that, to truly appreciate a composition, one must dissect the finer details to absorb all the layers of a song.

Stagnancy is a serious detractor for me when it comes to new albums from bands. Of course, bands grow and try new things with each record, but if they don’t take risks, there’s no maturing of the sound, and no chance for the band to grow. I’m not saying a band has to reinvent itself every album cycle, but experimenting can lead to some outstanding music.

This is not to say that a genre change always results in improved music. I have fond memories of A Day to Remember’s heavier past, but their gravitation to a softer sound is not as desirable to me. What are your thoughts on this matter? What bands have you lost interest in, or discovered after their sound changed? I’m curious to hear, so leave your take in the comments!

The New Fury vs. The Pariah: an interview for the ages

After the successful kick-off with their 2016 EP ‘Divided by Choice’ on Redfield Records, melodic hardcore band THE PARIAH are ready to take the European scene by storm with their debut album and their outstanding live performance. Whether as support for, at a festival, or as a headliner, The PARIAH have shared the stage with bands such as NAPOLEON, HUNDREDTH, CAPSIZE, LANDSCAPES, SHAI HULUD, CANVAS and POLAR. It’s pretty safe to say that THE PARIAH have never played a show where they didn’t attract some new fans. Paired up technical finesse and a detailed yet not too polished production, on “NO TRUTH” THE PARIAH know how to underline their uniqueness. ‘No Truth’ is released on September 28 on Redfield Records and Silent Cult in the UK. Be sure to give the guys a like on Facebook and preorder ‘No Truth’ here!

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White Squall: One year later, Hundredth’s “Rare” step into the unknown is a testament to taking bold, musical risks

As a musician, I imagine reinventing yourself is fucking hard. To be kind, many of Hundredth’s long-time fans (okay, pretty much all of them) were shocked at the band’s full and complete departure from their melodic hardcore past, and their subsequent morphing into a shoegaze-influenced alt-rock band that wouldn’t sound out of place on a support tour with Slowdive or a revived Chapterhouse. Seriously, some of these swirling, reverb-heavy songs are heavily reminiscent of Whirlpool, Spooky, Mezcal Head, and Nowhere – all venerated shoegaze or alt-rock records of the early 90’s that maintain cult status today.

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Rare: Here’s a playlist of all the music that inspired the new Hundredth album

Change is something that can be bad, neutral, or ultimately very good. Abrupt stylistic shifts in musicians and bands can be ultimately even more dividing – completely alienating a previous fanbase while gaining an entirely new one. It can be the different between surviving in the music industry and thriving in it.

For melodic hardcore alt-rock band Hundredth, the shift in sound has been shocking, yet really good. Instead of playing their patented brand of melodic hardcore, they shockingly went an entirely different direction on their upcoming album Rare – a more Ride and Catherine Wheel-influenced sound. The sound is best done on their 3 released singles so far, “Neurotic”, “Suffer”, and “Youth” – a throwback sound that honestly wouldn’t sound out of place on 4AD Records 25 years ago.

To possibly help introduce their audience to the new sound, Hundredth has put together a Spotify Playlist featuring some of the band’s favorite songs that influenced Rare. You can check that out below, as well as the band’s single “Youth”.

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