@planetmosh reviews .@hundredth
Hundredth are new to me, but what a wonderful surprise to find. Already two albums and now two EP’s into their career they have had time to hone their musical skills and talent in the increasingly popular genre of melodic hardcore.
Resist is the companion EP to 2013’s Revolt and vocalist Chadwick Johnson describes it as “much more melodic and at times more laid back” than Revolt and he isn’t kidding. Revolt is much more aggressive, they can be seen as polar opposites to the untrained listener, but then opposites attract and having ventured back to listen to Revolt I can affirm that that is the case here.
Resist is a six track EP that opens very gently with a short instrumental entitled Wake, the delicate simplicity of which alludes to something deeper to come. Then it starts to hit you in the form of Shelter. The first thing that strikes me is the clarity of Chadwick Johnson’s screams. So often I find the message of the song can get lost in the scream vocal, especially when there are no clean vocals as with Hundredth, but this is not the case with Chadwick and even the backing screams are just as clear. This clarity does not just lie with the vocals, but with the EP production itself. The hands of Bill Stevenson (Rise Against, Black Flag) and Jason Livermore (Stick To Your Guns) have pitched the levels of the instruments and vocals perfectly. Nothing overpowers and each instrument is transparent.
Title track Resist continues a small step forward on the lyrical theme, described by Chadwick as “the evolution of self”. With (as I interpret it) the realisation of the situation and decision having been made in Shelter, Resist sees a period of reflection, the personal questioning battle with oneself of “have I made the right decision?” and the justification of it.
In Demons the music reflects the lyrics with at times heavier guitar riffs, from either Blake Hardman or Andrew Minervini, pounding bass lines from JP Gressman and heightened repetitive drumming from Matt Koontz, interspersed with musically lighter moments as the person battles with their demons. Having made the step forward, it hasn’t necessarily solved all the issues that the person faces and they have some self-healing to do in order to continue on the path they are making for themselves.
Manifest harks back musically to the opening instrumental Wake and the feeling of realisation. The opening minute of this track is very exposed, with a light guitar line and cavernous vocals. This exposure appears again in a different form later in the song before they crescendo to its uplifting conclusion. This is a much more lyrically positive track; the title of the track explains it all. Having psychoanalysed themselves, the subject has come to the realisation that “Ego and spirit are two separate things, and the world is not the problem, the problem is me” allowing them to move forward “the end is the beginning”. The song is filled with melodic runs of notes on the guitar rather than the more depressive battle driving riffs of earlier tracks.
Hundredth close the EP, as it started with an instrumental Wage which opens with gentle guitar and paced drums over which is a sample of a speech given by S. Brian Willson “a former high school jock, former Air Force Security Officer in Vietnam, former dairy farmer…….He put himself in the place of the people of Central America and in doing so, he opened up the deepest truths of human existence….. He showed a new kind of heroism, the kind that may just bring the world back from the brink of self-destruction. He acted on his faith in the unity and sanctity of all life and that if one person will speak and act upon this truth, it will open the hearts of many and provide us a way out in this most desperate moment.”*
I defy anyone who cannot relate in some way to the lyrical content of this EP, or to find hope from it. The music is an excellent mirror of the lyrical content and superbly played. The utmost credit must go to all involved in this release.
Whilst I don’t necessarily think that the EP is an interpretation of S. Brian Willson’s own life battle, I think perhaps Hundredth are using him as an example of how we can not only better ourselves, but do so to the benefit of others, whatever our life battle.
Resist is released on 25th March 2014 via Mediaskare Records and on limited edition vinyl from No Sleep Records. Pre-order packages for ‘Resist’ are available now at:
For more information on Hundredth visit: https://www.facebook.com/HUNDREDTH
- Various Bundles