Abandoncy’s new album Hollow//Living is out now.
“Oh boy, hopefully, the music will be better than the album cover,” I thought to myself after encountering Abandoncy’s debut album. Luckily it really is (although the cover sets the bar really low) and as the result we get around 30 minutes of decent post-hardcore merged with screamo and other unexpected genres like post-rock. Those guys really wear their inspirations on their sleeves, so you’re gonna find bits of Orchid, Indian Summer and even Unwound scattered among the 9 tracks.
Bandcamp promoted the album on Twitter describing it as “face-melting” and the first three songs certainly deliver on that expectation. Especially my favourite track off the whole album ‘Power Stance’ which has an amazing build-up leading up to an explosion of noisy guitars and equally aggressive vocals. It’s not groundbreaking and doesn’t really offer anything new in the genre, rather being a well-made homage to the post-hardcore classics.
Unfortunately, the album loses it’s momentum just afterwards such a strong start due to a poorly placed interlude. I don’t see it serving any purpose as at first I thought it will be yet another build-up to the next track, but it’s clearly not. I don’t have anything against slowing down a bit on a hardcore album (the slower tracks on the Converge’s Jane Doe are my favourite ones actually) but it has to be done well and with a clear purpose. It would actually make a bit more sense to place it a bit later in the album so it could serve as a transition to a more mellow and slower side of the record.
On the second half of the album, Abandoncy goes full late Unwound mode, slowing down substantially and submerging into the moodier side of post-hardcore. Once again it’s done well, especially on the ‘Mudcrawler’ which begins as it would belong to some early 90’s post-rock album, not a 2020 hardcore one (being a huge post-rock fan of that era I certainly don’t mind).
Luckily as a closing track, we’re getting a really strong one – equally good as the opening trio. With a time span of almost 7 minutes, it stays appealing for the whole time. From a fairly standard hardcore intro, through a build-up to the almost black metal-esque drums explosion, ending with a noisy outro. It serves as a summary of the previous tracks and the fusion of main inspirations for this album.
Those guys certainly know what they’re doing, with a wide range of musical inspirations they managed to create an interesting modern take on the rather stale post-hardcore genre. Hopefully, they will try to experiment and bend the genres even more on their follow-up album which I’ll certainly be looking forward to.