Now this one will be for all you hard-rock and hardcore lovers out there, but all of you who are into indie and alternative stuff, check these guys out anyway, I wasn't able to stop listening. Heart-Set Self-Destruct hale from Naperville, Illinois, and from what I've heard and read, have become a staple in the hardcore music scene up there. I can truly say their first number, "Narcotic," was so off-the-wall different I just had to sit down and listen. Made up of Dave (vocals and guitar), Chris (guitar), Daniel (bass), and Nick (drums), HSSD provide a hardcore sound polished with grunged, metal guitar riffing and strong vocals. As with Fire At Will, it's the juxtaposition of Dave's hard vocals next to smoother melodies that make HSSD a must-hear.
Like I said, it started with "Narcotic," but it quickly moved on to "Burn the Sky," and then to "Suffer." Now as much as I preferred the vocals on "Narcotic" to those on "Suffer," ("Suffer" is just a smidge too hardcore for me, but still a great track), the great things about "Suffer" are the great guitar licks, and the slowed-down interlude. Truth be told, "Suffer" has one of those great anthemic choruses that you'd come to expect from a Disturbed song. HSSD's album, Victims Like Me, continues with "Tourniquet," one of my personal favorites. This track is completely different from the first few, which says something to me about this band's versatility. Rather than a fast-paced face-melter, HSSD opts for a slower, yet just as heavy, number with the melody of any Evanescence song, albeit without the female vocals (though Evanescence does have a track called "Tourniquet" as well from their debut album, Fallen).
I could review all ten songs on the album, but that would ruin the thrill of hearing them for yourself, so this is the last one I'll do. "Reliving Yesterday" starts off with a slower note sequence, but soon moves to a hard-rock inspired guitar riff with a pounding bass and head-bopping drum beat. Just as much as Chris and Dave are great guitarists and vocalists, Nick and Daniel shouldn't be slighted for the drum and bass abilities, respectively, because they give the song, and album, the great rhythm that Chris's and Dave's guitar licking fits so well with. If you're into hard-rock and some hardcore, I highly suggest listening to these guys. It's only a matter of time before I see their T-shirts being sold in Hot Topic and Spencer's.
Sounds Like: AFI, Lostprophets, Disturbed, HIM
Key Tracks: "Tourniquet," "Reliving Yesterday," "Narcotic," "Your Apology"