Hundredth never disappoint.
What does it mean to be free? Well, for some it’s being free of the tyranny imposed on them by the higher ups. For others, it is the freedom to protest, to speak out, and to think for themselves without fear of being shifted off into a prison that many go into and few come out of. Or perhaps it’s the freedom to not have to be forced to listen to shallow pop-music like Rihanna or Katy Perry 24/7 and be free to listen to Hundredth’s new record on repeat, which is coincidentally titled ‘Free’.
After two EPs, which saw the band trying their hands at the faster, shorter hardcore/punk sound (‘Revolt‘), and then following it up with a more melodic, chorus driven style (‘Resist‘), this is the most natural move forward for the group as they've made a record that is a combination of both those EPs. With their third full-length, and after having tested the waters with what works and what doesn't, Hundredth have confidently dived into a brilliant blend of past sounds.
The dynamically building, hymn-like nature of ‘///’ explodes into the fast, chaotic lead single, ‘Unravel’, which shows off a higher vocal range from frontman Chadwick Johnson. The vocals, in particular, are the real standout of the record. There are still those Jonathan Vigil sounding screams from their earlier days, as well as the more traditional hardcore/punk shouts, but there’s more layers to them now (the same goes for the guitars) overall. ‘Unravel’ is also a template for remainder of the record, and that’s good news for those of you who love that track in particular.
The choruses are strong and soaring, while the heavier moments (of which there are plenty) hit with real impact and the driving, rhythmic energy is just so constant and powerful throughout, just as ‘Inside Out’ and ‘Break Free’ wholeheartedly prove. Then, right up until the curtain call of ‘Burdens’, everything remains consistent, and easily one of the band's better releases to date. Yet, it’s all safe. A little too safe, perhaps. This is a great record from start to finish and while it’s a confident and commendable step forward, the band has seemingly only taken that one step.
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See, if you liked songs like ‘Remain & Sustain’, ‘Free Mind/Open Spirit’, and ‘Weathered Town’ then it’s basically an album filled with anthems of those sorts, and as those songs are three of the most-well known pieces of their back catalogue, most fans should be more than stoked on this record. If you were hoping for some added experimentation from the quartet, then that's not the case this time round.
Hundredth’s third album is true to form; an engaging and consistent melodic hardcore record that is void of any filler. However, while the songs are all kick ass, they lack any further experimentation. Yes, everything is pure and consistent and yes, the flow of the album is never once broken, but as a result, it does come across as slightly one-dimensional. It's not disappointing, not any any means, but this reviewer thinks that the album could have gone even further.
3. Inside Out
4. Break Free
7. See Beyond