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Album Review: Onward To Fracture Town by Halcyon Hope

Danish emo pop punks Halcyon Hope release their new album Onward To Fracture Town via Prime Collective on 7th October. Forging a sound that’s been largely overlooked in their homeland, the band pull upon the big emo influences of Brand New and Taking Back Sunday while keeping a foot entrenched in pop punk in the style Blink 182.

From opener ‘Against the Wall’ it’s obvious that Halcyon Hope are more than your average emo band. The song writing here is excellent, each track has the gutso and power of any big, world beating rock band yet there’s something raw and unrefined that makes you pay attention and makes you fall in love with the band.

The album is a result of a long and carefully laboured over process of creation, forged in collaboration with Alan Douches of West Side Music in New York, who did mastering (and who’s done work for Brand New, A Day To Remember, Mastodon, Every Time I Die, Fall Out Boy etc.), and with mixing engineer Peter Lehman, a man who’s been behind celebrated Danish acts like Turboweekend, Rock Hard Power Spray and Baby In Vain to name a few.

The Brand New influences pay a heavy part throughout Onward To Fracture Town, it doesn’t necessarily do the band any harm. If you’re going to wear your influences on your sleeve it may as well be from the genre leaders. We must stress that it’s not an homage to Brand New, it retains just the right amount of individuality and rawness to set itself out. ‘Clandestine’ and ‘Beggars Belief’ are the big standout tracks, there’s an instantaneous quality that suckers you in and shines through to the fore. On the latter the vocal isn’t perfect and an overly critical ear may say it’s a little off, but it’s those little flaws that give this album an imperfect sheen that endears it to the listener.

‘Mono In Stereo’ feels like another of those little blemishes. It has the potential to be a great track but there’s something about the drum track that just doesn’t fit in the mix. Yet you’ll find, again, it doesn’t detract from your overall enjoyment of the track. Conversely ‘Bitter Rain’ comes in on note, sounding perfect and ‘Burning Effigy’ and closer track ‘Tomorrow’ perfectly encapsulate the softer more delicate side of band.

This is a great statement of intent from the band and marks out their potential. There might just be a little something missing yet you can still expect great things in the future.

AD Rating 7/10

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