Have Heart Songs to Scream at the Sun

Like Blacklisted several months back and Modern Life Is War a couple of years ago, a well-respected, if monotonous hardcore band have re-evaluated their entire approach and emerged from the studio with a truly forward-thinking record that infallibly secures their place in history. Often incorrectly presumed to be the archetypical preachy vegan SXE act, Have Heart condense the exuberance and vitriol of Champion and American Nightmare into a potent, hyperactive onslaught, travelling by way of Nirvana and Melvins, and picking up a few spare hitchhiking crust punks at pit stops along the way. If that doesn’t have discriminating, yet mosh-starved and ravenous, core kids sick of the same old shit foaming at the mouth, they need to re-evaluate why they listen to heavy music in the first place. Vocalist Patrick Flynn’s surprisingly sincere and understated lyrics, coupled with a voice box clotted with sandpaper and strychnine, provide yet another unpredictable element for the unexpectedly dynamic and involving musicianship to intertwine itself with over a brisk 21-minute running time. Capped off with superb engineering from Kurt Ballou, one is left with a bitter, satisfied grin and several hundred dollars poorer upon staggering away from the merch table. Bridge Nine is back on the map in a big way, and Have Heart are well and truly at the top of the suffocating rubbage heap that is metallic hardcore in 2008. Essential. (Bridge Nine)