Friday, April 19, 2024

Review: Hellbound Hearts – Film Noir

Everyone loves a chorus. There are few things better than a song which builds perfectly to that huge moment when everyone comes in together and screams the words back at the band. It’s music at its very best. It doesn’t matter whether it’s pop, rock or R’n’B, a good one makes everything better.

However, it is possible to have too much of a good thing. Hellbound Hearts’ Film Noir is living proof of that.

For this is an album that is all about the choruses. Each and every one of these rock songs is built around hitting that big chorus as hard as they can. Whether it’s the Wildhearts worship of ‘Suffering The Radio’ or the hard rock of ‘Poor Disguises’, if you take the chorus away there just isn’t much left.

Which isn’t always a bad thing, ‘Blood’ is brilliantly catchy and will have you tapping your toe after the first listen. Hellbound Hearts have an ear for a melody, and more than one of these songs will wheedle its way into your brain. There are smatterings of bands like Metallica on the heavier material and ‘Suffering The Radio’ isn’t the only track influenced by the mind of Ginger Wildheart.

Elsewhere, ‘We Are All Alone’ has a good old fashioned stomp to it, and ‘Fortunes’ has a dark tinge which elevates the rather straightforward rock and roll. It’s also hard to pick out anything specifically wrong with the album. Lead singer Danny is a big part of why all those choruses sound as good as they do and the musicianship is solid to great the whole way through. There’s just an overwhelming feeling that with a bit more craft it could all be so much better.

The over-reliance on choruses gives this music a disposable feeling. It’s not that it’s bad, it’s just that it’s meant for a particular time and place. A time and a place that revolves around having a beer in your hand and a fist in the air. For many, that will be more than enough, but if Hellbound Hearts want to make an impact, then they need to become more than just a series of big choruses.

Stuart Iversen
Stuart Iversen
With a Masters in Journalism and a love of all things heavy, I am basically spending my life trying to find work to fund my music habit, the more the two overlap the better.

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  1. Why is a metal elitist reviewing this album? Clearly you’re already biased against rock and roll.
    This album is way more than the choruses. Did you even listen to the lyrics? You need to have a smattering of intelligence and depth of spirit to appreciate this.


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