Post-hardcore music has always been driven by heavy riffs, catchy choruses and an emotional intensity that is nearly unmatched in any other genre. Lately, in an effort to drive sales and play music that makes more sense in the climate of business, bands have been dialing back to more pop-punk or pop/rock status. This is fine, as most of them do it in a way that makes sense and clearly keep true to their roots. When I hear a band who brings back that nostalgia, that feeling of emotional intensity, I can’t help but smile. Enter Houston, TX’s, So Soon, The Truth and their newest effort, Were You Ever Really There? Here, we have all of the angst, aggression and emotion needed to concoct a perfect post-hardcore record, mixed with the technical proficiency of prog rock.
Were You Ever Really There? comes 3 years removed from their debut album, Familiar Violence, which borrowed well from its title, providing a much more raw, heavy sound. Atmospheric, dynamic and different in all the right ways, Were You Ever Really There? provides a balance that makes sense, to the wondrous cacophony that made up their debut. Vocalist Peter Huizar holds nothing back in his delivery, providing a breathtaking experience for the listener as you can hear each change in emotion.
In terms of the instrumentals, the guitar riffs created for this album, as well as the melodies, are all top-notch. Often, upon listening, I’ve found myself humming along because, while not meant to be, there are a lot of them that are just so damn catchy! There is some clear influence from bands like Circa Survive and Dance Gavin Dance as there are moments that lead you in slow and then become uncontrollably chaotic, leaving room for surprises all along the way. Still, the multiple moments which feature jazz-infused guitar playing and incredible lyrical proficiency, are among my favorites on this album.
The album closes with “Unkept,” which features an interesting mixture of acoustic and clean guitars. This is one of the only tracks that is more focused on melody, almost entirely led by Huizar and displays a more vulnerable side of his vocal abilities.
Overall, Were You Ever Really There? checks off every box that makes up a memorable post-hardcore release. Great lyrics, powerful instrumentation, emotional intensity and a hopeful aura are what surround this album and make it the force that it will prove to be. Were You Ever Really There? is out now via Cardigan Records! Check the band out on tour with our friends from NYC, VRSTY and pick it up below!
2/08/2020 Boozerz Rock Bar – Corpus Christi, TX w/VRSTY
2/09/2020 Yerberia Cultura – McAllen, TX w/ VRSTY
2/10/2020 Come and Take It Live – Austin, TX w/ VRSTY
2/11/2020 The Haltom Theater – Haltom City, TX w/ VRSTY
2/12/2020 The Riot Room – Kansas City, MO w/ VRSTY
2/13/2020 Lefty’s Live Music – Des Moines, IA w/VRSTY
2/15/2020 The Forge – Joliet, IL w/ VRSTY
2/16/2020 Bierstube – Moline, IL w/ VRSTY
2/17/2020 The Outpost Concert Club – Kent, OH w/VRSTY
2/19/2020 Smiling Moose – Pittsburgh, PA w/ VRSTY
2/20/2020 Be Here Now – Muncie, IN w/ VRSTY