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Hurt Process - A Heartbeat Behind

  by Jonjo McNeill

published: 27 / 8 / 2005

Hurt Process - A Heartbeat Behind
Label: Golf
Format: CD


Formulaic, but promising metal pop from Welsh five piece The Hurt Process back with a second album

Welsh five piece The Hurt Process blend elements of metal and pop, combining razor edge hardcore guitars with bittersweet vocal refrains to create an aggressive yet submissive extremo sound. Comparisons to Thrice and Thursday are inevitable, as the bands share not only a style, but also a mindset. ‘A Heartbeat Behind’ is their second album, and sees the band taking their sound further in the same direction. The album bursts out from the first bar of opener ‘Anchor’, and the pace doesn’t let up on the blistering and beautiful ‘You Don’t Get Gold For Second Place’. The title track “boasts” some rather unsettling choking noises amongst it’s anguished screaming vocals, but these are offset by the poppy chorus melody. Just as the pace threatens to explode, things slow down a tad with the subtler ‘A Mind With Two Faces’, a schizophrenic love song which begins simplistic and low key, before growing into a crescendo of anguish and loathing. The first two bars of ‘Boogie Nights In Michigan’ kid on that we’re about to get funky, before we’re (thankfully) saved from an embarrassing style experiment by another adrenelin fuelled angst-fest. If there’s a criticism to be levelled here, it’s that the sound isn’t varied enough. The songs are strong, but all follow a formulaic pattern of loud screamy bit, melodic fast bit, crescendo bit, back round again. By the point we’ve reached ‘Take To You’ it seems like we’ve been listening to the same song for half an hour. Maybe it’s the emotional power of the songs which does it, but I felt worn out after 30 minutes, and couldn’t enjoy the last ten as a result. Maybe the songs are all a little bit too long. It’s a pity though because The Hurt Process are an excellent band. They have taken a genre created and ruled by American acts, and forged their own little hole in it. They vary enough from the bands mentioned earlier to merit interest amongst even those not versed in the style, and craft good songs with strong structures. My criticism would be that they stick too closely to these structures, adding a predictable element to their sound, which dissenters against hardcore could see as easy pickings. For fans of the genre, ‘A Heartbeat Behind’ is a good second album from an exciting British band, showing signs of true songwriting talent. For those yet to experience the emotional highs and lows of bands like this, my advice would be to sit down in a padded room with a copy of Thursday’s ‘Full Collapse’ and grow towards the light it will show you. You’re not quite ready for this one yet.

Track Listing:-
1 Anchor
2 You Don't Get Gold for Second Place
3 A Heartbeat Behind
4 A Mind With Two Faces
5 My Scandinavian Ride
6 Boogie Nights in Michigan
7 Take to You
8 The Night Before the Morning After
9 Delicious 53
10 Reading Into It

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