Making The Doubters Eat Their Words
When everyone's written you off as has beens, when the emo scene you've been wedged into is saturated to breaking point with American bands surely there's nothing to loose and everything to gain? Well it seems Surrey based rockers Hundred Reasons are working exactly on that basis. Hailed a few years ago as saviours who were supposed to go on and conquer the world along with the likes of Lostprophets, Hundred Reasons have had somewhat of a tough time ranging from problems with their label right down to a founding member leaving the band only last year but still they fight on with latest album release 'Quick The Word, Sharp The Action' riding on little expectation amongst critics and scenesters alike. But is seems Hundred Reasons have other plans. Sure they may have hit some snags in the past but this is a band still out to prove everyone wrong and this album could just be the one to do just that.
Opening with the gentle tinkle of a piano, 'Quick The Word, Sharp The Action' blasts out of the starting blocks as guitars switched to the max over power everything, transforming opening track 'Break The Glass' into a stampeding juggernaut of catchy hooks and a melody that gathers momentum before unleashing a moch exit that as gentle as the start, making way for a sudden burst of sound to officially bring the song to an end. Single choice 'No Way Back', a track that will haunt for days, is an infectious dose of pop based hooks and sing out loud choruses that build to sing your lungs out capacity insuring no one can escape the pull of the track. Indeed 'Quick Word, Sharp Exit' is brimming with melody driven gems that will stick in your head for ages, refusing to be evicted even for the catchiest pop jangle pumping out of the radio. But nothing is bright and rosy in Hundred Reason's world as only fitting for a band who has faced the problems they have. Although on the surface virtually every track is swimming in an upbeat contagiousness that unceremoniously sweeps you up and along on the ride, lurking beneath the surface is a much darker side one in which lyrics reveal failure with love and a certain hopelessness such as the case with 'Boy'. Thankfully though Hundred Reasons aren't ones to ram their sorrows down your throat and whilst their lyrics may not be optimistically cheery their melodically charmed guitars insure that their troubles come with a chirpy beat with only the slightest hint of heartbreak.
Far from being another album that sticks to one formula throughout, 'Quick The Word, Sharp The Action' even manages to stir things up with 'The Shredder' which does just as its name suggests. Bulldozing the tranquillity of previous track 'Pernavas Iela' aggressively out of the way with a hefty shove, 'The Shredder' sets about ripping your face off and victoriously waving it in the air as starkly raw screams pound amongst growls and guitar riff that will literally pin you to the floor. Completely out of step with the rest of the album, 'The Shredder' proves that although Hundred Reasons may have a soft centre they also have a very hard outer shell that will take you to the very edge before returning you back with the pop punk party bout of 'I'll Never Know', addictive to the very core.
Hundred Reasons have proved everyone wrong with their perseverance and whilst they probably won't reach the dizzy heights that once seemed in their grasp, this is an album for old and new fans alike to embrace and cherish. Packed with catchy tracks that offer light relief on the surface and a murkier underbelly, 'Quick The Word, Sharp The Action' will have the doubters eating their words.