Half Hearted Hero – Isn’t Real

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Half Hearted Hero

Isn't Real - Animal Style Records

Half Hearted Hero is an alt-rock five piece from New Bedford, Massachusetts, this is their third album to date and Isn’t Real is the follow up to their impressive 2013 sophomore release, Whatever. Half Hearted Hero have been together for the last decade, in that time they have toured relentlessly and produced numerous releases that bore a trademark raw and frantic sound. This album marks a change in style from their previous two albums, much of aggression and excitement appears to have been refocused into making a more mature and refined sound.

My initial impression was that this is a promising album, the opening track Throw It Away, whilst not groundbreaking, is a pleasant enough slice of alt-rock, the following track Dreams prompted exactly the same thoughts and I began to get the feeling that this album wasn’t going anywhere fast. The rest of album follows the alt rock template without ever getting out of second gear, I found myself willing them to inject some of the energy and excitement that characterised their first two albums into proceedings. The whole of Isn’t Real feels restrained and you wait for a track to grab you and pull you into the album, sadly, unlike their previous releases, it never happens.

This feels like a more mature and polished album than their previous two full length releases, but in achieving this it seems they have lost an important part of their identity, and more importantly they seem to have lost some of their creativity and energy. Whilst there is little wrong with Isn’t Real, there isn’t anything about it that actually grabs your attention either. This is a shame as you can hear the potential in this album, but that essential spark that makes a band exciting appears to have been lost in the recording process.

Isn’t Real can be ordered here