For better or worse, 2017 is shaping up to be a year of change.
Among the latest bands to throw caution to the wind and radically overhaul everything they do are Hundredth, who’ve swapped their melodic hardcore credentials for woozy, emotionally turbulent shoegaze-punk.
Yeah, that’s a thing now.
Even more remarkably, they chase their muse into compelling new terrain on ‘RARE’.
Throughout songs like ‘Hole’ and ‘Vertigo’, the South Carolina crew surround gorgeous, surprisingly delicate melodies in a haze of claustrophobic noise, driven on by Lee Hutchison’s slamming drums. The results are as addictive as they are unsettling, swerving the dreary apathy that’s drowned similar efforts (sorry, Citizen).
Without the effects pedals and dense production this would be an album of solid melodic rock songs, with them it’s a sometimes overwhelming experience. That feeling is compounded by Chadwick Johnson’s mysterious, yet eerily affecting lyrical beats and the downbeat (to put it mildly) vibe of cuts like ‘Youth’. Hell, this isn’t much of a party record.
So okay, things start to feel a little one-note towards the end – something you could accuse the band’s previous albums of, too – but given how much has changed in so little time, this is an impressive departure.