When it comes to unsigned bands, making a gusty move in recording or producing an album can either bring forth a surprisingly professional-sounding album, or it can spell disaster.
Stemming from the state of Florida, indie rock band My Rocket Heart pulled a feat that few bands would even dare cross because of its risk factor, they recorded an entire project in just a day's time. Their primary purpose in doing this was to create an album that reflected the intensity of their live performances. An imposing question could be "does this cause any damaging effects to the band as a whole?"
The band's latest release Hang Ups and Let Downs begins with an acoustic, pop/rock number entitled "All the Same," which is about the unchanging patterns and motions of this world. A few songs focus on the issue of relationships, as expressed in the ballad "Chelsea Jane" and the slight Bleach-esque "She," which appear to be love songs to a significant other, but without clarifying whether or not they pertain to any of the members in the band. Songs like "Jesus" and "Broken Again" fortunately contain spiritually-based lyrics that are layered over a combination of synth pop guitars and melodic drum rhythms. The majority of Hang Ups and Let Downs contains a lot of the same (and sometimes repetitive) musical elements along with occasional memorable lyrical content. As already mentioned, the fact that the majority of this album was recorded in one day causes it to suffer greatly in overall production value and unfortunately falls short of capturing the intensity of a live performance.
Overall, it's very difficult to compare My Rocket Heart to bands that perform music of their same genre. Though they're a few steps behind bands like One Minute Halo and TomorrowToday (whose EP was produced by Pillar producer Travis Wyrick), MRH should be given credit for what they tried to accomplish, even though their project should have been given a longer time to develop and complete. However, if indie pop/rock is a genre that easily piques your interest and you tend to enjoy a raw and sometimes under-polished effort, then Hang Ups and Let Downs might be the album for you.- Review date: 12/26/05, written by Paul Portell
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