Quick The Word Sharp The Action
Since their breakthrough with top ten album ‘Ideas Above Our Station’ in 2002, Hundred Reasons’ popularity has been on the decline and the future of the band was put into question recently when founding guitarist Paul Townsend quit and vocalist Colin Doran was diagnosed with nodes in his throat. They now return with their forth studio album which will be supported by a headline tour in January.
Having specialised in heavy guitar tracks for three records, it would be a big surprise if HR changed their formula now, but the opening piano line of ‘Break The Glass’ does suggest momentarily that it may have happened… until the up-tempo guitars and drums kick in. However it lacks any real hook, while recent free download taster ‘No Way Back’ just isn’t of the quality of previous output, despite having a pop melody at its heart. It takes the more considered approach of ‘Sick Little Masquerade’ to remind you just what the band are capable of; namely huge anthems capable of lighting up a festival. Guitars chime triumphantly in a chorus that should be accompanied with arms held aloft and it isn’t the only time on ‘Quick The Word…’ that they hit top gear. The twisted chords of ‘Opera’ suit Doran’s vitriolic words, while ‘Out Of Time’ closes the album in a menacing tone and with great energy.
Unfortunately most of the record fails to encapsulate the same quality. ‘Boy’ is instantly forgettable while ‘She Is Prison’ and ‘Lost For Words’ also fail to impress. They lack the sing-a-long chorus of ‘Falter’ or the encompassing frenetic enthusiasm of ‘If I Could’, both of which even crashed into the top forty UK singles chart. It seems that this is a problem that the band has failed to overcome since their first album; as all the offerings after it have struggled for consistency. Both 2004’s ‘Shatterproof Is Not A Challenge’ and 2006’s ‘Kill Your Own’ contained songs as good as anything that the band has produced, but they were weighed down with ‘fillers’. This is once again the case.
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