H On Earth - Review
This band got their start several years ago under the foundation of Jason Barbaro and Jason Rowe with their harsh industrial noise.
However, the band we know today is quite a bit different at the time of this release. Currently it's composed of the trio Jason Barbero, Terri Snyder and Brendon Bulson and features a melodic electro-pop style with swooshing synths, layers of electronic loops, male and female vocals all over a fast-paced dance-friendly beat. This album comes packed with twelve original solid tracks with two additional bonus remixes for a nice, full body of music.
I have to admit that my first exposure to this band was their satyrical piece "Good Girl" which really churned my stomach. While the electronics are fun, I groaned as I pictured another sassy, sexual-image-driven satyrical band and didn't return to listen to any more for a while. But as with many albums I'll often return and check out additional selections and finally sat down to listen to the album in it's entirety. To say I was shocked was an understatement, what in the world "Good Girl" is doing on this album is beyond me, and why it seemed to always show up as the "hit" for this album when I researched the band is also a mystery. While "Beautiful Mess" still features female-fronted vocals and lyrics right along the borderline of pop music and culture, it remains true enough to the alternative synth and electro genres that it's actually a really nice piece in the end. But as you move on through the album and hear tracks like "Reverie" with the deep, emotionally dripping vocals over the heavy electronics or "Detour" which feature's the female vocals once again, but this time along these more emotional melodic electro-pop styles, then I was captivated and knew this album really had some potential. In fact, if you leave "Good Girl" aside, this is a really stellar album.
As I've been able to listen to it several times over the past few weeks I was pleased to hear one excellent piece after another. Favorites include the already mentioned "Reverie" and "Detour". The male vocals are great mixed with the dark and heavy, yet dance-friendly music on "Reverie" and others, include "Resltess" which has also quickly become a favorite from this disc. Most readers here will be familiar with the unique style of Mind.In.A.Box
and the inclusion of the remix from this band of "Reverie" made the similarities really click with me. The tracks with the heavier, darker vocals and styles are quite reminiscent of those from Mind.In.A.Box
's own pieces with the darker, deeper vocals, so this remix fits in perfectly with the album. Nearly every track has that moving dance-friendly beat, including the almost ballad-like pieces "Heart Attack" or "NB Sadness". This latter piece makes a great finale to the album (not counting the bonus remixes) and also quickly became a favorite.
So overall it's a nice album. I'm usually more of a sucker for the female vocals, but I have to admit that the deep, emotional male vocals mixed with the dark and brooding, yet driving dance-friendly music really captures my attention. Highly recommended for fans of bands within these related genres.
Label: Nilaihah Records