May 27, 2009

I've had a long, satisfying allegiance with HWM. Not to overstate my case, but I was able to put them on the cover of Flipside #120 a few years back and in Razorcake #2, stated how they, and Leatherface, helped change the way I listen to music to this day (which they have). The last couple months, for me, have been filled with loads of reflection on a host of different topics ranging big and small, and I'll say this: I like the angry, fast, anthemic HWM better than the softer, more melodic, intricate HWM. I love it when Chris and Chuck vacillate hoarse to hoarser and molotov out the lyrics, setting everything in their musical landscape aflame. It makes me feel like, even if I'm alone, I'm singing along with a thousand voices. That shit's powerful good. Caution is 50/50 for me. I'm not completely convinced that, ever since they've learned to sing and carry a tune and play guitar parts that almost sound like keyboards, that it's been for the better of my enjoyment. I liked the snarl and rasp, the discomforting this-shit's-gonna-break, you-got-a-roll-of-duct-tape? tension. And, although, this album still covers the topics of sadness, loss, and regret, and, as a band, they're one of the best live ones in existence, I still find myself reaching back in their catalog and pulling out Forever and Counting, Fuel for the Hate Game, the split 8"with Clairmel, and Never Ender to find my fists clenching up so tight and thinking, "This band could take the world on its own terms and knock its dick in the dirt."

 –todd (Epitaph)