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Helen Earth Band – We Fucking Quit | Album Review

‘We Fucking Quit’ is the name of an album that just begs to be listened to, so we found out if Helen Earth Band’s sophomore effort is worthy of it.

Source: Album Cover

It’s been a long wait for fans of Helen Earth Band, but the follow up to their 2009 debut Our Own Ghost City is finally here. The turbulent times that may have caused the delay (including having a couple of members leaving) is unsubtly referenced in the title of the new album – We Fucking Quit. It’s a confrontational name to use, begging to be listened to, and suggesting an aggressive, in your face experience. So how does it sound?

Well, it’s not overly aggressive, sounding closest to late 90’s emo music, complete with math rock guitar lines and impassioned vocals. Fans of bands like Braid and Mineral will recognise the references straight away. They seem to have taken the same direction as Braid did on their latest release No Coast, where the acrobatic guitar lines don’t get in the way of the songwriting, which is largely straightforward and unpretentious. Opener Anchor starts out with a fast paced verse, where the vocals don’t sound dissimilar to Alkaline Trio’s Dan Andriano, yet when the chorus opens up, they start to sound a little thin and flat. Sub par singing isn’t exactly a bad thing in this genre, though, with conviction and energy being favoured over technical ability.

Up next isCall Out’, which was the first track to be released, and it’s easy to see why. It has the familiar sound of the more commercial mid-2000s emo to it, a little like early Taking Back Sunday, and it’s unsurprising with Helen Earth Band having former members of Finch and Counterfit within their ranks.

The Temperature Rising shows a different side to the band, with fuzzy bass taking a prominent role, filling out the space between sparse post-rock inspired guitar. The post-rock feeling finds its way into several tracks, which helps the album feel more varied than their debut, as the band develop their own personality by branching out into different styles. Titan feels like the centre piece of the album, a track that keeps building and building to a heavy climax, with the most impressive vocal performance across the eleven tracks.

We Fucking Quit doesn’t quite punch you in the face the way the title suggests, but that’s no reason to give it a miss. The songs err on the pop side of emo and post-hardcore, with plenty of sweet melodic moments, particularly in aptly named closer Curtain Call’. It’s not the most original release, but it’s hard to care when the songs are this good.

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