If Only You Were Lonely

Studio Album by released in 2006
If Only You Were Lonely's tracklist:
This Is Who We Are
We Are So Last Year
Language Lessons
Pens and Needles
Saying Sorry
Dead in the Water
I Am on Your Side
Breathing in Sequence
Light Sleeper
Cross Me Off Your List
Where Can I Stab Myself in the Ears

If Only You Were Lonely review

Hawthorne Heights have surfaced with a painfully beautiful album

In one form or another, Hawthorne Heights have been making music for five years now with their melodic mixture of punk, hardcore, emo, metal and rock influences coupled with soaring, grooving melodicism. Quintet Hawthorne Heights came to life in the summer of 2001. Originally called A Day in the Life, the Dayton Ohio collective saw numerous lineup changes and shifting music styles before settling on their current formation. Composed of drummer Eron Bucciarelli, bassist Matt Ridenour, vocalist/guitar player JT Woodruff and guitarists Casey Calvert and Micah Carli, the band built their fan base on a solid demo and a series of self-booked national tours that saw them sharing the stage with the likes of From Autumn to Ashes and the Descendants. In 2003 the group signed with Chicago label Victory Records, resulting in the 2004 release of their powerful full-length debut, The Silence in Black and White. After spending the fall of 2005 holed up in the studio in Hoboken, New Jersey, Hawthorne Heights have surfaced with a painfully beautiful album, If Only You Were Lonely, that is nothing short of the biggest rock record of 2006.

This rising new rock outfit does everything it can to broaden its scope

With the breakout success of Hawthorne Heights' debut this little screamo band could have easily taken the formulaic approach with its sophomore album. Instead, this rising new rock outfit does everything it can to broaden its scope on If Only You Were Lonely. Here Hawthorne Heights up the drama-punk ante, channeling tricky rhythms, shimmery soft parts and a metal-schooled three-ax attack into songs that are both action-packed and gratuitously stylized. This Is Who We Are leads off this set and sets the tone for the rest of the album. We Are So Last Year and Pens And Needles exemplify what can be done with multiple guitar players, as harmony guitar riffs are balanced with gang vocals to produce choruses that are as big as the state these guys are from. Dead in the Water and I Am on Your Side have a slow burn, active rock thing going on, but without being as annoying as most of that format’s offerings. Where Can I Stab Myself in the Ears plows through metal-march power chords, a desperate call-and-response chorus and a tense half-time breakdown. Finally, the album closes with Decembers, an airy piano ballad that resembles fellow hipsters Death Cab for Cutie or the Album Leaf.

If Only You Were Lonely is screamo-pop with experimentation

The Silence in Black and White had all the bells and whistles of screamo-pop, but If Only You Were Lonely is screamo-pop with experimentation. Hawthorne Heights slowed down the tempo on a couple tracks, threw out some powerful harmonies, and overall, made fuller sounding songs. Be it the downright winsome lilt of Saying Sorry or the riotous punk of This Is Who We Are – painted with blood-curdling screams – the group manages to walk the fine line between art and its aspirations of world domination with its credibility in check. While Hawthorne Heights cites influences such as Nirvana and Led Zeppelin, their overall sound is more akin to bands like Jimmy Eat World and SR-71. A three-guitar assault, along with the vocals of JT Woodruff, who sometimes sings with precision pop/punk tenor and sometimes morphs into a screaming, barking metal boy, makes this band both unique and really cool. The one thing that really can’t be ignored though, regardless of style, is that the songs are top notch. An upcoming summer tour with Fall Out Boy and All-American Rejects is sure to help Hawthorne Heights to continue building on that success. But more than anything, Hawthorne Heights is a talented group of musicians with great songs that appeal to the music-buying public, and an indie charm that appeals to the critics – a double threat to be sure.

Rate review3.52
Total votes - 17

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