On first listen, ‘Onward To Fracture Town’, comes across as an exciting, bashful collection of melodic, modern rock that harkens back to Taking Back Sunday’s better days. Throughout the dual vocals of Miki Petersen and Nicolaj Rosander serve as the admirable core of Halcyon Hope’s sound. However, after a few repeated plays, it’s a trait that becomes a minor nuisance.
Don’t be misled as ‘Onward To…’ carries itself with an accessible quality. Where the record suffers from the slight lack of originality, is made up by the strength and variation of the songs on offer. ‘Against The Wall’, ‘Marshland’ and ‘Once A Sleepy Backwater’ quickly set the pace, proving to be uplifting and engaging. They swiftly lay down a template of impassioned, emo rock that lends itself to the heavy hitters of the genre, yet throughout there is an undercurrent of rawness that is an advantage to the quartet, and the songs they have crafted.
As the album settles into itself, Halcyon Hope subtly flex their musical muscle as ‘Wear Me Like A Crown’ resonates through ringing guitars and an introspective vocal delivery. While ‘Clandestine’ twinkles with its light, plucky guitars complimenting Petersen’s warm vocals. While it’s slow build proves to be compelling. Lead off single, ‘Fawn’, serves its purpose with its loose, upbeat energy and thorough emo rock guitar work. Likewise ‘Bitter Rain’ shortly follows in a similar vein, proving Halcyon Hope have a flair for knocking out fun, impassioned alt-rock songs.
Although you can’t fault Halcyon Hope for wearing their influences proudly on their sleeves, ‘Onward to Fracture’ shows plenty of intent. It’s a step in the right direction for a band that has plenty of potential to break out of their homeland. They boast a set of songs that are capable of achieving that. It’s clearly a matter of not if, but when for Halcyon Hope.
‘Onward To Fracture Town’ by Halcyon Hope is released on 7th October on Prime Collective.
Words by Sêan Reid (@SeanReid86)