“Behold, Have Heart have been brought back from the ashes and shall be known as Free.”
At least it’s how the Boston band were served to me, a reincarnation of the mourned and long lost Have Heart. I don’t want to start a fire here, but it’s not totally true, in fact, it’s more a gentle cross between everything Verse should have done and everything Have Heart shouldn’t have.
It’s not a bad thing what I’m stating here, because it’ll clear the table : don’t expect something supposed to follow Songs To Scream At The Sun, because it is not. It’s a new band, that has to make themselves a name for what they are, a new band. This 7” is pretty much a new tentative to achieve this task, and at first, I was confused.
I was pretty pumped by the demo they released in 2015, it took a different path from what bothered me on the last Have Heart record and I found it interesting to say the least, so I was expecting more for this new release, a step higher if you want, and believe me, I literally felt down at the first spin. The first thing that came to my mind was they were doing the exact same mistake as before, trying to play a heartfelt kind of hardcore, as Turning Point did in the end, but just delivering some cheesy and overly melodramatic gum that is just sticky.
But I didn’t gave up, to appreciate a record, you have to spin it. And there, at this precise moment, I found the whole problem this record got : a filler song. You see, usually on a four tracks 7” EP, it’s pretty hard to put a filler song, as hard as it is not to put some in a 12” LP, because you usually have enough material to choose what you want to put on that said 7”. Well, maybe they didn’t choose the right song, or they were out of ideas, but that “Equity Head” song, just nope. It crystallizes everything I couldn’t bear on Have Heart at the end of their career and it’s actually what bugged me at first because you can definitely hear this song has nothing to do here. But I wanted to be fair, so I played the record multiple times, and I came by the same result !
But what a relief, it just make the other songs way more enjoyable, because if “Equity Head” is as itself everything I couldn’t stand with late Have Heart, the rest of the vinyl is definitely some quality original Free songs, with these bluesy parts and that Outspoken/Undertow intensity. It honestly feels like a good breath of fresh air, you can even hear some influences from their Sweet Jesus project, which is more than welcomed. Indeed the lyrics are on point, thanks to Pat Flynn as always I assume, with “May I Be I ?” being the best of his work to me.
So if this Ex Tenebris EP experience started badly and spawned the ghost of Have Heart’s mistakes, it’s definitely far from that, and I got to admit I’m pretty impressed by this 7” that just build the identity of the band as it was intended to happen. Even though I have to deplore that filler song, it’s easily covered by the quality of the other compositions.
Get the 7″ on the store.
Label : Triple B records
Year : 2017
2.Out of Darkness
4.May I Be I
FFO : Outspoken / Late Turning Point / Undertow
Based in Strasbourg, France