Since signing to Hopeless Records in 2014, Hundredth have released an acclaimed hardcore album, toured relentlessly around the world, and gained themselves a pretty dedicated fan base, which isn’t bad for 4 guys out of South Carolina. The band have made no bones about the fact they’ve always made albums that they want to make, and their latest effort is just that.
‘Rare’ is bound to shock and alienate a few of their fans, while gaining a whole load more of new ones. The South Carolina quartet have pushed the boat out on this time; they’ve dropped the screams and their full throttle hardcore sound, and gone for something a little more mellow and experimental. If anything, ‘Rare’ makes Hundredth sound like a completely different band all together.
‘Rare’ has some truly stand out moments, such as opener ‘Vertigo’, which has a very early 80s indie vibe to it, and the more punk driven ‘Youth’, which treads the line between something fresh and exciting and their old material to an absolute tee.
Now, there’s nothing wrong with taking a musical voyage, and if anything it should always be encouraged that bands take time to explore and expand their genre. However, it feels like Hundredth may have tried to jump on the 2017 musical bandwagon, with bands such as Turnover, and Balance & Composure taking a much more melodic turn. While those bands have released acclaimed and interesting records post genre change, what Hundredth have done is release a record that falls short of expectation, feels long, drawn out, and completely similar the whole way through.
What needs commending is the pace at which the band changed genres and released a completely brand new and distinctive record that is set apart from their back-catalogue. Not many bands can release a record completely void of their previous sound in such a short space of time that really shines, so it’s not a surprise that ‘Rare’ doesn’t quite hit the heights that the band may have wanted.
Also, the musicianship on this record is phenomenal, and really showcases the musical ability of each member. Chadwick Johnson‘s clean vocals are absolutely flawless, and Blackwell‘s guitar work is intricate and concise. Both are the shining high points of the record.
Realistically, ‘Rare’ as a whole is disappointing, however, it’s not without promise. Hidden within the album are enough tracks to make an absolute shining EP, and when all things are considered, with such a drastic change of sound in such a short space of time, perhaps an EP would have been the safer and better option.
It’s time to think of Hundredth as a brand new band, and ‘Rare’ as their debut album. With that in mind, this could be the start of something special.
Written by Jacob Eynon (@itsjustjake93)