Now celebrating twenty years under their current moniker, Hawthorne Heights (formerly known as A Day In The Life) commemorate this milestone in the best possible style, namely with a new release. Containing five tracks that find the band on top form, Lost Lights is an EP which marks this quartet contemporary and totally relevant.
In musical terms, Lost Lights finds Hawthorne Heights comfortable in their own skins, rocking a signature sound and knowing exactly where it slots into the grand scheme of things. Yet, don’t mistake that self-assuredness for geneticism; there’s an energy present that suggests the band are still hungry and eager to forge forwards. If there was any doubts to the band’s vitality then they blown away by the musical maelstrom that is opening shot ‘The Storm’. With little fanfare it gets up close and personal and swirls around the listener like a raging tempest. Making good use of musical dynamics, ‘The Storm’ pits loud sections with quiet, and the dramatic pause mid-song works exceptionally well, and could only come from a band brimming with confidence. Self-possessed Hawthorne Heights may be, but it sounds as if they still have plenty of inner turmoil within because ‘The Storm’ (and, indeed, the whole EP) rages with an emotion that makes for an arresting experience.
It sounds as if Hawthorne Heights have hit on a magical and elusive guitar tone, and that pumping out the speakers resonates deep within the listener. It is warm, just fuzzy enough, and sits nicely somewhere between the clean vocals of JT Woodruff and the screaming of Matt Ridenour very well. Lost Lights is an EP that’s brimming with great ideas, yet uncluttered, and you get the idea that there’s enough here for a full album, but that it only contains five tracks makes it all the more special, there’s a feeling that every note counts and cuts such as ‘Dandelions’ become all the more direct. There’s plenty here to keep long term fans happy, and the emotive songs infused with melody sound as good as they ever did, but the panache with which they’re now played is sure to win the band many new converts.
We began with a stormy opener, and ‘We Were Never Lost’ closes the disc in a similar fashion, bringing things nicely full-circle. Lost Lights finds Hawthorne Heights at the top of their game, and long may it continue.
- The Storm
- Lucerne Valley
- We Were Never Lost