Heart In Hand
A Beautiful White
It’s nice to witness a band figure out what works and throw away what doesn’t. British group Heart In Hand had, at least to these ears, been a middle of the road metalcore group. There were moments of potential, but little to nothing actually stood out. Between albums, the band seemed to have figured things out. The band’s latest album, A Beautiful White, finds Heart in Hand switching things up to great success. The sound now has more in common with melodic hardcore, taking root where Defeater, To the Wind, and others have gone. There’s also a decidedly British metalcore undercurrent, adding an air of melancholia that is much appreciated.
It’s unfortunate, then to see the moments that the band drifts back to its metalcore roots are when the album is at its weakest. Most of the actual breakdowns are average to subpar, with the end of “Poison Pen Letters” being especially problematic. It ruins what was already a good track. Follow up, “Last Night” regains the lost momentum, with a decidedly melodic bend. That’s the trick that Heart In Hand has figured out on this album: melody isn’t confined to the vocals. When the tracks are given room to breathe and allowed to be memorable, they are successful. That’s not to say this is a soft album. “New Years Eve” starts off with a bang, only to let off the gas a little bit.
Maybe that’s the method to what makes A Beautiful White so successful. By taking a step back and really evaluating its sound, it allowed the band to fire on (almost) all cylinders. “New Years Eve” could have become an Architects rip-off, but with smart songwriting and solid riffs, it became a treat. There isn’t all that much that separates Heart in Hand from its comtemporaies, but little things absolutely matter. By taking a smarter look at its craft, this British band has definitely risen up the ranks of the hardcore scene. (Nicholas Senior)