As a genre, R&Bcore – the hybrid of post-hardcore and R&B – is one that clearly fans invest in, but it hasn’t taken off to the soaring boom that you may expect, and definitely not even scratching the surface of the peaks of nu-metal and emo in the mid to late 2000s.
Issues are undoubtedly the pioneers of the subgenre, but without question there are bands championing it in the underground who are just bursting to join the big leagues with their Georgia based peers. One of these new faces is South Florida’s Happy Hour, back with their second EP, ‘Love Hurts’.
It’s a short but sweet affair at only three tracks long, but the Floridian outfit manage to flex their muscles in this brief space of time. Opener ‘Cigarettes’ is a vibrant cut, complete with cheerleader group chants, seamless trade-off vocal chops from frontman Nate Promkul and guitarist/vocalist Eric Hidalgo, the latter of the two’s screams being very similar to that of Jon Mess (Dance Gavin Dance).
The EP’s title-track is a pretty clear cut template of what R&Bcore is all about; aggressive and fast tempo instrumentation, slick as hell croons, and sickly sweet choruses that get stuck in your head for days. It’s basically the equivalent of what N*Sync would’ve sounded like if they born and raised on the Vans Warped Tour.
Curtain closer ‘Already Dead’ is much more of a sombre number, in which Promkul really displays his vocal prowess and ability, and at times displays some pretty clear Drake influences, with some pseudo rapping ascending into soaring cleans. This all against a backdrop that slowly bubbles into an explosive coda to see it off.
It’ll be interesting to see what Happy Hour could do when it comes to a bigger scope and more sturdy project like a full-length, but for now, R&Bcore certainly has someone prepared to carry the torch should Issues ever become no more.