I fell in love with Heartbent the first time I heard their track “Addict”. It just hit me as being so perfect. It had a sense of nostalgia while being so full of power and having a modern twist as to keep the song from feeling like a carbon copy of anything I had heard before so when I found at that Heartbent had an EP to accompany this single, I knew I had to dive in a bit deeper so let’s do it!
This super quick EP kicks off with “I’ve Been Thinking”. It instantly lays out the style and sound that I fell in love with when I heard “Addict” for the first time. Although it’s powerful, there’s a very early 2000’s emo pop-punk feeling coming from the words (although at times they get a little brasher than what I was listening to back in the day) and a strong pop-punk vibe from the slamming guitars and the screaming guitars that, at times, oddly reminded me of the style of Angels & Airwaves. Even though I could relate this back to a million bands from my past, there’s also something new about it. The vocals stay almost sleepy in a very strange way as the instrumentation powers through this opening track and that stark juxtaposition is something that really sets Heartbent apart from the other bands in this resurgence of emo pop-punk that seems to have been taking the world by storm.
“Molly” shines a light on the emo tendencies of Heartbent while continuing to be full of energy. There’s a dark side to this song and the vocals. You can hear a sense of desperation in the words while the drums and guitars seem to pay no mind to that feeling and drive this four-minute song forwards at a fast pace. Part of me wanted to hear a little more range in the vocals but another part of me realized that this is just the sound that Heartbent has and changing that would change everything about this band. I know that this more flatlined style of vocals may not be for everyone but it’s absolutely for me and I think it helps tells the story behind each of these tracks in a perfect way.
There’s something a bit more mainstream and commercial feeling about some of the aspects of “Waking Up” which got me really excited. Although I don’t think this EP will be the one that breaks Heartbent into the mainstream (I honestly don’t know why that is but going with my gut here), “Waking Up” gave me glimpses into this band is much bigger than just this four-song EP. Again, the range of influences heard throughout this quick EP is massive and those influences mixed with the Heartbent spin put on them really leave you with a sound much bigger than one would expect. Although “Addict” is the title track and was the first song submitted to me, I think that “Waking Up” is the star on this album.
This four-song EP ends with the title track, “Addict”. There’s something a bit more pop-punk about this beat than the beat in the previous tracks but those distinct vocals really steal the spotlight on this final track just like they did on the previous. Although I think that “Waking Up” is the star on this album as far as the track from Heartbent that bridges genre-gaps, there’s no denying my love for this final track. It has that classic pop-punk beat that makes you dream of those days jumping up and down in a sweaty crowd full of people screaming along to the same words as you. There’s just an undeniable sense of live-show power behind this track and, with shows slowly but slowly starting to get announced later this spring and fall, I couldn’t help but start daydreaming about the day I will get to see Heartbent live and experience this track in real life.
My Favorite Track(s): “Waking Up”; “Addict”
For Fans Of: Pop-Punk With an Edge; Energy
Mosh-ability: 8 out of 10
What My Cats Thought Of It: Artie laid on the back of the couch; Autumn sat on the arm of the couch and stared out the window
How Badly I Want To See This Performed Live: 9 out of 10
My Overall Rating: 7.5 out of 10
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