September 2013 National Music Reviews

Reviews: Hawthorne Heights – Zero

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Hawthorne Heights

Zero

Red River Entertainment

Street: 06.25

Hawthorne Heights = Taking Back Sunday + Framing Hanley + The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus
I’m always excited for a new Hawthorne Heights release, probably due in large part to many angsty, teenaged nights playing their breakout emo anthem “Ohio Is For Lovers” over and over. Featuring their first foray into concept album territory, it’s too bad that the dystopia-themed lyrics don’t form the most coherent concept in the world, and it’s all fairly forgettable in the long run. Musically, Zero sounds like Hawthorne Heights—three guitars ripping consistent pop hooks and JT Woodruff belting out fittingly chantable melodies. While the formula is a little more confident and refined than usual, it’s also just maybe a tad over-polished. I still miss the regular screaming of their earlier albums, and the one or two songs on here with rough vocals in the background just don’t cut it. I particularly enjoy “Anywhere But Here,” and especially “Put Me Back Together,” with its catchy chorus that keeps getting stuck in my head. Hawthorne Heights have yet to make a truly bad album, though, and despite my caveats, I think Zero is decent enough—just don’t expect it to make much of an impact in the longterm. –Matt Brunk
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