Hundredth made a bold change in sound in 2017 with their record RARE. Phasing away from the melodic hardcore archetype and opting into a more shoegaze, reverb-y approach, this transition was colossal, but it paid off, as the artistic direction made for my album of the year in 2017. The soundscape of RARE and the ensuing Ultrarare/summer of 2019 singles are divine, and a fascinating shift for the group.
Hundredth, who underwent quite the stylistic change in 2017 with their landmark album RARE, have made the best of the past few weeks, releasing two noteworthy covers of electronic powerhouses The Postal Service and Radiohead.
These pieces spare no expense in production and honor the source material with tons of moving parts working in sync majestically. Chadwick’s vocals have just the right amount of processing to mesh with the technological backing provided.
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, 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!
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!