Considering that pop punkers Heavy Hearted have been a band for less than a year, it’s a credit to them as musicians that they have recorded their debut album to such a high standard.
‘When You Were Home’, released recently by the Californian five piece, wears its influences on its sleeve. Sounding at times like a mix of New Found Glory, A Day to Remember and Blink 182, the album is short and sweet consisting of 8 energetic tracks. Up first is ‘Anchors Up’ – a track which perfectly prepares you for the sound of the rest of the album. ‘Anchors Up’ bears a strong likeness to A Day to Remember, an influence that reverberates throughout.
The vocals on the record are strong, with gang vocals and chants making the tracks particularly catchy. The choppy guitars and singable riffs on ‘When You Were Home’ share a great likeness to many modern day pop punk bands, and its pace help keep the album quick and lively. There are times as well when Heavy Hearted break away from sounding like Set Your Goals and four Year Strong to find some musical variety – this is most obvious on the acoustic ballad ‘Sleeptalkers’, demonstrating an ability to stray from a cosy comfort zone.
This debut does have its flaws, though. With its youthful exuberance, ‘When You Were Home’ may struggle to appeal to an older audience. The adolescent nature of some of its songs – and also their obvious likeness to other bands – makes them at times seem without depth and orginality. So while the slick production and well executed musicianship of the album suggests that Heavy Hearted are only set to get bigger and better, musical spontaneity will help them break away from a crowded pack to make a real impact. But for right now, if you’re just looking for catchy pop punk, Heavy Hearted will more than suffice.