Sound — 8
Album #2 from UK alternative metal band Hundred Reasons was released March 1st. This second album sees them settle into their style, resulting in a consistently polished album of good hearted, anthemic rock. You might long for the slightly raw edginess that originally made them stand out from the crowd, but Hundred Reasons know what their fans love and this album presents us with an unadulterated selection of uplifting riffs and crunching rock. Hundred Reasons offer a poppy, mainstream take on this most defiantly underground of musical genres, but no qualms, they do it very well: the production clarity demonstrated on "What You Get" and "The Great Test" renders hirsute frontman Colin Doran's skinny roar in spittle-flecked high-resolution, and supplies an agreeably punchy presence to the twin-guitar interplay handled by Paul Townshend and Larry Hibbitt. However, there are some really great anthems on Shatterproof Is Not A Challenge - "Harmony", whilst appearing plaintive (if not slightly repetitive) from the comfort of your lounge, will no doubt prove to be a fantastic live rabble-rouser. "Truth Without Elegance" is another stand out track which builds up to a roaring chorus that tests Colin Doran's vocals to their limit. Speaking in general, album's sound is all right. Though they insist on repeating the same odious ideas and this is not right: it's just boringly.
Lyrics — 8
Often vague, Doran's lyrics frequently attain a sort of tear-pricked emotional resonance: "Sing this with me now/ Try to harmonise this," goes the mantra-like 'Harmony', gaining strength in every plucky repetition.
Overall Impression — 6
If there's any criticism here, it's that Hundred Reasons appear to have found a successful formula and stubbornly stuck to it: "Pop" sounds uncomfortably like a band ripping off themselves, and even a pair of ballads, "Still Be Here" and "Makeshift", appear to be tacked on just because that's what well-rounded rock-albums are supposed to do. In future, a touch more variety would prove a real boon. But in short bursts, Shatterproof Is Not a Challenge remains a bracing example of sturdy, cathartic punk-rock, and we very much suspect that's exactly what Hundred Reasons were after all along. When crawling through some reviews written by Hundred Reason's fans, success of this album is quite obvious. Verdict: nicely produced and recorded, Shatterproof Is Not A Challenge is a mediocre album and while it may not bring new fans to the band, fans will like it.