Skeletons review by Hawthorne Heights

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  • Released: Jun 1, 2010
  • Sound: 7
  • Lyrics: 7
  • Overall Impression: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 7 Good
  • Users' score: 5.1 (38 votes)
Hawthorne Heights: Skeletons
0

Sound — 7
When Hawthorne Heights' unclean vocalist Casey Calvert passed away three years ago, the Ohio band made the decision to never to find someone to take his place. While lead guitarist Micah Carli takes over the growl duties as needed, the band's latest album Skeletons still revolves more around frontman JT Woodruff's clean singing style. That decision allows for more seamless transitions in many ways, and in the end the fourth full-length record does put its focus on big, epic choruses. While Skeletons could have easily been a dark record following the sad events of the past few years, the band gets the tragedy out of the way by the first track. Without relying heavily on growling vocals, Hawthorne Heights do convey more of a pop-oriented style more than ever before. That's not to say that there aren't interesting songwriting choices on Skeletons, but it's Woodruff and his amazing harmonies that usually become the centerpiece on most songs. As was mentioned earlier, the opener Bring You Back doesn't shy away from the topic of death. It was the middle of the night when I heard you took your life, Woodruff sings. It's a brave way to begin, and in many ways allows the music to speak for itself for the rest of the album. Bring You Back, even with its darker theme, is representative of many of the album's songs, which are usually mid-tempo with laid-back verses leading up to huge choruses. End Of The Underground gives Carli an opportunity to shine riff-wise, with an introduction that is easily the best guitar lick on the CD. Skeletons visits Dashboard Confessional territory with the melodic-and-emotional Drive, a track with a massive group of background singers that makes the chorus sound larger than life. From the title alone, Hollywood and Vine screams clich and in many ways it does indeed fall into that trap. While the chorus is likable enough, it's a song that just feels too predictable and stale. Skeletons does have its standout moments thanks to the band's ability to write a memorable melody line, but it still doesn't make a huge impact.

Lyrics — 7
Bring You Back most definitely takes on the most difficult topic of the album, and it's wisely placed in the opening slot. It's hard not to listen to every word when reflecting upon Calvert's passing. The remaining material does focus on the usual love/relationships theme, but the band does try to incorporate some interesting references within songs like Unforgivable (All I need is to hear your voice; You're Juliet and I'm just your poison). In the end, however, everything pales in comparison to Bring You Back.

Overall Impression — 7
With Howard Benson (Papa Roach, Daughtry) once again taking on production duties, Skeletons doesn't disappoint in terms of a stellar audio mix. The rich harmonies comes through beautifully, and it's actually difficult to imagine the record bombarded with growls/unclean vocals. They would almost feel out of place at this point. It's up for debate whether Hawthorne Heights might need some edgy device to offset the strong pop feel that has overtaken the band's sound. In the end Skeletons is a likeable enough record, but it doesn't mark a huge leap in the band's sound.

28 comments sorted by best / new / date

    adj209
    I will have to check out this album after liking their past few. But personally I think Silverstein does what Hawthorne heights do much edgier and better.
    Richb51
    HH_Emo_666 wrote: pyritmann wrote: adj209 wrote: I will have to check out this album after liking their past few. But personally I think Silverstein does what Hawthorne heights do much edgier and better. I concur, Silverstein really has this genre conquered, Hawthorne Heights has some catchy tunes though, I think I might check this album out. I think Silverstein is a lot better musically, and Hawthorne is better lyrically. Besides that, I only liked about three songs on HH's last album. I really hope this one doesn't disappoint me.
    It is really hard to compare Hawthorne Heights to Silverstein, considering their almost two completely different genres. Hawthorne Heights was maybe comparable to them on their first album with screaming, but not now at all. Hawthorne Heights is more pop than anything. Silverstein still screams and is a lot heavier than Hawthorne Heights. Bad comparison.
    adj209
    ToyPJs wrote: 4windsnobreeze wrote: man i remember back in the day when i used to love these guys and from first to last and the used and all those bands. So weird to look back now and see how almost every band within the genre either fell apart or faded into obscurity within 4-5 years. Lets start off the list: Hawthorne Heights lost Casey. Avenged Sevenfold lost The Rev. Slipknot lost Paul. Escape the Fate dropped, Ronnie. Chiodos dropped Craig. From First to Last dropped Sonny. And the list goes on and on..... Who knows what will happen next another death or another greedy band? So much for the music industry these days! All about money! No one cares about the music anymore! :'(
    **** man you listed some of my favourite bands (except for chiodos i prefer Blessthefall) . Its all down to the drugs dude, that has ****ed it up for all of those bands listed.
    fret13
    ToyPJs wrote: 4windsnobreeze wrote: man i remember back in the day when i used to love these guys and from first to last and the used and all those bands. So weird to look back now and see how almost every band within the genre either fell apart or faded into obscurity within 4-5 years. Lets start off the list: Hawthorne Heights lost Casey. Avenged Sevenfold lost The Rev. Slipknot lost Paul. Escape the Fate dropped, Ronnie. Chiodos dropped Craig. From First to Last dropped Sonny. And the list goes on and on..... Who knows what will happen next another death or another greedy band? So much for the music industry these days! All about money! No one cares about the music anymore! :'(
    Yeah, next thing you know, the Beatles will split =\.
    ToyPJs
    4windsnobreeze wrote: man i remember back in the day when i used to love these guys and from first to last and the used and all those bands. So weird to look back now and see how almost every band within the genre either fell apart or faded into obscurity within 4-5 years.
    Lets start off the list: Hawthorne Heights lost Casey. Avenged Sevenfold lost The Rev. Slipknot lost Paul. Escape the Fate dropped, Ronnie. Chiodos dropped Craig. From First to Last dropped Sonny. And the list goes on and on..... Who knows what will happen next another death or another greedy band? So much for the music industry these days! All about money! No one cares about the music anymore! :'(
    4windsnobreeze
    man i remember back in the day when i used to love these guys and from first to last and the used and all those bands. So weird to look back now and see how almost every band within the genre either fell apart or faded into obscurity within 4-5 years.
    ThatWouldBeJon
    this is the only band in the whole pop spectrum genre i can actually say is a favorite of mine. though they can never top if only you were lonely or silence in black & white...
    EpiExplorer
    duncang m : You were the only blip. POSTED: 06/01/2010 - 02:53 pm / quote | HH_Emo_666 : adj209 wrote: Richb51 wrote: HH_Emo_666 wrote: pyritmann wrote: adj209 wrote: I will have to check out this album after liking their past few. But personally I think Silverstein does what Hawthorne heights do much edgier and better. I concur, Silverstein really has this genre conquered, Hawthorne Heights has some catchy tunes though, I think I might check this album out. I think Silverstein is a lot better musically, and Hawthorne is better lyrically. Besides that, I only liked about three songs on HH's last album. I really hope this one doesn't disappoint me. It is really hard to compare Hawthorne Heights to Silverstein, considering their almost two completely different genres. Hawthorne Heights was maybe comparable to them on their first album with screaming, but not now at all. Hawthorne Heights is more pop than anything. Silverstein still screams and is a lot heavier than Hawthorne Heights. Bad comparison. Well you are right on some accounts, but with Casey (RIP) both bands crossed pretty familiar genres, i guess you could say post-hardcore for a while (brace for flames). But yeah recently they'd fit into Rock or maybe just Pop-rock Well the whole reason on why they were prolly compared is because they both used to be on the same record label. They use to tour with eachother and shared the same genre with both of their first cd's. It is correct to say that Silverstein is a hell of a lot heavier than Hawthorne. Silverstein is one of those bands that do it well, but I just hate their whiny clean vocals. JT has an amazing voice and it really shines on this record, where as Shane is a good screamer but he lacks those high notes. My one friend said it the best when he said that Shanes pitch in his voice is pretty much the same in almost every song. POSTED: 06/01/2010 - 02:54 pm / quote | Xomar : i have yet to read an album review where there is no arguing about the genre of the band involved haha. silverstein and hawthorne heights are both great, who cares?! POSTED: 06/01/2010 - 03:37 pm / quote | wrote: You were the only blip.
    ...Nyahaha.
    Xomar
    i have yet to read an album review where there is no arguing about the genre of the band involved haha. silverstein and hawthorne heights are both great, who cares?!
    HH_Emo_666
    adj209 wrote: Richb51 wrote: HH_Emo_666 wrote: pyritmann wrote: adj209 wrote: I will have to check out this album after liking their past few. But personally I think Silverstein does what Hawthorne heights do much edgier and better. I concur, Silverstein really has this genre conquered, Hawthorne Heights has some catchy tunes though, I think I might check this album out. I think Silverstein is a lot better musically, and Hawthorne is better lyrically. Besides that, I only liked about three songs on HH's last album. I really hope this one doesn't disappoint me. It is really hard to compare Hawthorne Heights to Silverstein, considering their almost two completely different genres. Hawthorne Heights was maybe comparable to them on their first album with screaming, but not now at all. Hawthorne Heights is more pop than anything. Silverstein still screams and is a lot heavier than Hawthorne Heights. Bad comparison. Well you are right on some accounts, but with Casey (RIP) both bands crossed pretty familiar genres, i guess you could say post-hardcore for a while (brace for flames). But yeah recently they'd fit into Rock or maybe just Pop-rock
    Well the whole reason on why they were prolly compared is because they both used to be on the same record label. They use to tour with eachother and shared the same genre with both of their first cd's. It is correct to say that Silverstein is a hell of a lot heavier than Hawthorne. Silverstein is one of those bands that do it well, but I just hate their whiny clean vocals. JT has an amazing voice and it really shines on this record, where as Shane is a good screamer but he lacks those high notes. My one friend said it the best when he said that Shanes pitch in his voice is pretty much the same in almost every song.
    EpiExplorer
    duncang m : Checked. Impressive that, 10 comments in, nobody has forgotten it's not 2006 anymore and gone on a bender! Keep it up lads POSTED: 06/01/2010 - 02:37 pm / quote | wrote: Checked. Impressive that, 10 comments in, nobody has forgotten it's not 2006 anymore and gone on a bender! Keep it up lads
    Doing ya proud, duncan.
    duncang
    Checked. Impressive that, 10 comments in, nobody has forgotten it's not 2006 anymore and gone on a bender! Keep it up lads
    $hab
    The last two albums were really uninspired but I'm digging this; the lyrics still lack intelligence and subtlety but the catchy tunes are there. And finally there's some evidence of progression since 'The Silence in Black and White'; JT's singing has definitely matured which makes for some nice vocals. They've also experimented with a few different styles (see: 'Drive' or 'Gravestones'), which is a big surprise considering the dull blur of electric distortion that was starting to become their only trick. I'd recommend to any old fans - it's generally pleasant listening.
    adj209
    Richb51 wrote: HH_Emo_666 wrote: pyritmann wrote: adj209 wrote: I will have to check out this album after liking their past few. But personally I think Silverstein does what Hawthorne heights do much edgier and better. I concur, Silverstein really has this genre conquered, Hawthorne Heights has some catchy tunes though, I think I might check this album out. I think Silverstein is a lot better musically, and Hawthorne is better lyrically. Besides that, I only liked about three songs on HH's last album. I really hope this one doesn't disappoint me. It is really hard to compare Hawthorne Heights to Silverstein, considering their almost two completely different genres. Hawthorne Heights was maybe comparable to them on their first album with screaming, but not now at all. Hawthorne Heights is more pop than anything. Silverstein still screams and is a lot heavier than Hawthorne Heights. Bad comparison.
    Well you are right on some accounts, but with Casey (RIP) both bands crossed pretty familiar genres, i guess you could say post-hardcore for a while (brace for flames). But yeah recently they'd fit into Rock or maybe just Pop-rock
    HH_Emo_666
    pyritmann wrote: adj209 wrote: I will have to check out this album after liking their past few. But personally I think Silverstein does what Hawthorne heights do much edgier and better. I concur, Silverstein really has this genre conquered, Hawthorne Heights has some catchy tunes though, I think I might check this album out.
    I think Silverstein is a lot better musically, and Hawthorne is better lyrically. Besides that, I only liked about three songs on HH's last album. I really hope this one doesn't disappoint me.
    pyritmann
    adj209 wrote: I will have to check out this album after liking their past few. But personally I think Silverstein does what Hawthorne heights do much edgier and better.
    I concur, Silverstein really has this genre conquered, Hawthorne Heights has some catchy tunes though, I think I might check this album out.
    fret13
    I grew up with this band. I hate them to death now that I've been enlightened to better music but I have a feeling I will still probably check this out for old time's sake.
    cahotopher15
    i haven't liked one of their cd's since their first one they released with the mega 'emo' hit "Ohio Is For Lovers". hopefully this will conquer that one even if there isn't any screaming any more. RIP Casey
    thebabymaker
    Fiddly Diddly69 wrote: I'm not even going to bother listening to this, I bet it's going to be way worse then their previous album which was okay but I heard one track from this album and it was horrible
    yea u gave it one track... ur probly right. it sux
    Fiddly Diddly69
    I'm not even going to bother listening to this, I bet it's going to be way worse then their previous album which was okay but I heard one track from this album and it was horrible
    HH_Emo_666
    the Dustasaurus wrote: I remember back when I listened to Hawthorne Heights.....But then I grew balls....hahahahahaha...I really couldn't care less if they kept going or not but...I'm sure I'll give this album a try some time...no rush though what so ever....
    the Dustasaurus wrote: And yes his vocals are entirely to whiny...sorry someone's got to say it but the best part of the band is dead....and since they refuse to replace him then that leaves nothing but shit....
    the Dustasaurus wrote: oh yeah...and one more thing....."cut my wrist and black my eyes.....".....God I'm such a dick
    wow, way to triple post about nothing ..
    the Dustasaurus
    And yes his vocals are entirely to whiny...sorry someone's got to say it but the best part of the band is dead....and since they refuse to replace him then that leaves nothing but shit....
    the Dustasaurus
    I remember back when I listened to Hawthorne Heights.....But then I grew balls....hahahahahaha...I really couldn't care less if they kept going or not but...I'm sure I'll give this album a try some time...no rush though what so ever....