Finnish sextet One Morning Left have been at it for nearly a decade and a half, managing to reel in a secure a pretty strong and dedicated fanbase over in mainland Europe. It’s been five years since their last record, 2016’s ‘Metalcore Superstars’, but its follow-up ‘Hyperactive’ sees the band with their sights on more.
Combining the corniness of hair metal with some technical metal verses and antiquated synths, opener ‘Ruby Dragon’ still manages to be an accomplished mixture of styles that makes for an energetic and uplifting beginning to the record.
What could be a bland repetition of riffs is nicely jazzed up with cheeky synths in ‘Neon Highway’. Not afraid to end up in 8-bit territory, the little throw backs and moments add an extra dimension to the bouncing forefront.
Attempting to conquer pop-culture, ‘Sinners Are Winners’ adds American rock to the pot that pushes the cheesiness a step too far, as they get a whole entourage to chant lines in a procession of brief blasts as though they’re getting the whole bar dancing.
Trying to send out spooky messages, ‘Creatvres’ brings in a light spell of gothic rock, but even with Leevi Luoto‘s stunning vocals it doesn’t even come close to sending a shiver or spine tingle.
The light side becomes over bearing and the formula of metalcore verses and clean choruses becomes all too apparent in ‘Ruthless Resistance’, and as there’s little variance in tone it starts to grate on the psyche.
‘Worry Less, Dance More’ finally comes up with a change in pace as a few interludes of jazz and random slides, but they’re all just too brief in the constant battering of chords and drops that are the main staples on display.
Admittedly, One Morning Left aren’t breaking new ground here. ‘Hyperactive’ sees them mostly employing their tried and tested formula over the years, and you can’t blame them for taking the ‘if it ain’t broke then don’t fix it’ approach. If they want something more though, we’re going to need something more in return.