I am listening to an EP called Nothing You Didn’t Deserve from the band Heartist. They are signed to Roadrunner. The band members in Heartist all came from older bands and older projects that did the standard grind of playing as many shows as they can. This is how the music business was run once upon a time. It doesn’t work in the current times however people still try and run it this way.
So what do the members of Heartist do? They leave those bands and get together to form Heartist.
They knew how the game is played and decided to not participate this time around. So they wrote as much music as they could before releasing any of it to the public. They sat on their EP for over a year and a half, making sure it got into the right hands at the right time. From being in various projects, they made a lot of friends through shows and networking. They put up demos on YouTube and sent them to various connections that they had been acquainted with.
They developed a strategy. They took as much time as they could to build up a buzz before they played any shows. If they just recorded their songs and released them on line, with no real demand or market to satisfy, it would have been a great waste of time. However, they waited, kept on creating that buzz and in the end the stars aligned and they got lucky.
They played their first show and Roadrunner was there, along with a few other labels. Management was also in attendance. They played one show and then Roadrunner signed them.
Is it a good thing that they are on a major metal label like Roadrunner? In my opinion, no, however it was a goal for the band to be signed by a label. You can say that being on Roadrunner has given them a chance to play with Killswitch Engage and go on tour. Could they have done that themselves? Maybe, however we will never know.
Vocalist Bryce Beckley sounds like Spencer Sotelo from Periphery. Another comparison I can make is to Chris Clancy from Mutiny Within, an ex – Roadrunner signed band. Guitarists Jonathan Gaytan and Tim Koch remind me of Adam Dutkiewicz and Joel Stroetzel from Killswitch Engage. Rounding out the band is Evan Ranallo on bass and Matt Marquez on drums.
For a first off release that is also self-produced, this band has potential plus. It’s heavy and progressive with good melodies/riffs and a certain range of diversity within the songs as well. However they need that one great song to hook me in and I haven’t heard it yet. This is a good thing, as they have done enough to keep me interested, wanting to hear more.
Disconnected is the opening track and it comes very close to making that connection. In an interview, on the http://highwiredaze.com/wordpress/heartist website, Matt Marquez the drummer describe the meaning of Disconnected in the following way;
“This song is about the spirit of a dead man still being stuck here and not being able to move on to the afterlife until he finds out why his life took an unexpected turn for death. He can see and hear people and try to make his presence known, but ultimately he is on his own in finding answers that could bring him closure to finally move on to the afterlife.”
Heart Of Gold also comes close to greatness. Back in the Eighties, metal bands or rock bands always had that one song on the album that was sort of called the CROSSOVER song. One that is rock or metal enough to please the rock fans, and one that could satisfy the large pop audience. This is that type of song for Heartist. It is meant for the charts and it is a good song that deserves to be on the charts. It has more integrity than what the other songs are on there. It has that Linkin Park feel and they recently released a YouTube clip, handmade using over 3000 printed images and stop motion photography.
Tangled is another song that comes close to greatness. As with Disconnected, I am hearing a Periphery connection, especially in the vocal melodies.
Rhinestone has a Dream Theater style intro that hooks me in, however it goes downhill from there and The Answer has an awesome 30 Seconds To Mars style intro, however the Chorus doesn’t take it to the next level.
Where Did We Go Wrong has an unbelievable pre chorus and chorus. The song is about losing a relationship. The kind of relationship where one party is putting all of their effort into making a relationship work and it’s just not working, while the other person is giving up and no one really understands why it is all over when it is over.
Nothing You Didn’t Deserve needed more work to it in my mind. It starts off heavy and melodic and it has some decent sections. The lyrical theme on the other hand is world class. It deals with psychosis. The male character has split personalities that are battling each other. The screaming parts are the darkness and the melodic singing is the light. It is a different twist to the clichéd heartbreak song. He gets cheated on and like all metal songs, it ends in death, so that nobody else can have his love.
Heartist are a product of their time.