South Carolina’s heavyweights Hundredth are back, but not as you know them. Get ready to midst yourself into shoegaze heaven with their new full length, Rare.
In 2016, after seeing the return of original guitarist Alex Blackwell, the melodic hardcore veterans released a two-track entitled Dead Weight giving the initial indication they were planning to change their sound, but little did we know something as drastic as this was brewing. Usually when a band makes a change of this magnitude, they go all out and change the name and re-brand all together. But Hundredth feel Rare is a worthy add-on to their already stellar track record of throaty, gutsy, neck-breaking goodness.
After releasing their debut of When Will We Surrender in 2010 and following successors of Let Go and Free, I always wondered what they would next bring from under their sleeve to keep breaking barriers in their sound, I didn’t think that the sounds influenced by such bands as Slowdive, My Bloody Valentine and The Cure would be an option, however Rare is a respected add-on and each release relishes in their own genre.
Although the main focus of this record is their change in sound, you still hear little lights of what they once were, kicking off the record with heavy hitting single "Vertigo". A sense of nostalgia as the feelings come rushing back as to when I first listened to Let Go with head-moving punchy riffs towards the end of "Neurotic" come shining through. Later tracks such as "Shy Vein", "Youth" and album closer "Departure" soon quench my worries of Rare becoming a repetitive has-been that ends up being covered in dust on the top shelf.
The remainder of the record brings more of the same, but you know what, that is absolutely great. As an album it provides the hazy riffs, distortion for days and more reverb to cater for every man and his dog but it works perfectly, it just fits. I’m glad that Hundredth are not going to be stuck in the same place forever but it does raise the question, especially as a fan since day one, where do they belong after this? Will they go back to being what they once were? Or continue on this road and discover what Hundredth really is? Either way, I’m excited to find out!
Rare is a breath of welcomed fresh-air to their arsenal and if you are already into the modern day Balance and Composure-esque shoe-gaze, dreamy sound but also lively enough to keep you awake, this will certainly be on your most played of 2017. Make sure to take a listen to Rare released 16th June!
FFO: Slowdive, Balance and Composure, Turnover