Our Hollow Our Home – Hartsick

There is something other than faeces and fluoride in the water down on the South Coast of England. And it’s contributing to a burgeoning scene of some repute; while the energetic and promising Saint(The)Sinner passed into the night, Southampton’s Creeper stand the dark denizens hotly tipped to become the UK’s next mainstream breakthrough. So where in the pecking order do melodic Metalcore merchants and fellow Hampshire dwellers Our Hollow Our Home sit on their début album Hartsick (Hollow)?

There is a groundswell of goodwill towards the band, with plaudits aplenty for 2015’s self-released Redefine EP, all of which means OHOH are set to capitalize come their first album. Refining and polishing the successful formula they previously used and that is adopted by many of their peers, the majority of OHOH’s tracks sweep in with a melodic guitar or synth lick before hitting a rhythmic crunch set up for the heavier of the two vocals to trade off the cleans.

It is tried and tested, and OHOH don’t just know how to play the game, they’re becoming the slickest of players with a YouTube views count to match. ‘Loneshark’ is the traditional kick-off rager, and, while there are no surprises or innovations and certainly nothing new throughout the following forty-odd minutes of polished melodic contemporary boy band metal, there is an awareness of the need to diversify (within the well-established boundaries). ‘The Wild Will Wait’ interludes into the ‘Pride’ duopoly, ‘Lieoness’, a catchy and breezy number that gives way to ‘Of Might and Mane’, with its Tech Metal judder, armed with some unconvincing straining-on-the-throne deeper vocals.

Hartsick is photoshopped and digitally coloured rather than handpainted and crafted. The clean vocals are safe and mid-range, hitting the notes perfectly but innocuous in their avoidance of emotion or conviction, while the heavy vocals never satisfy, swathed in doubt there is genuine rage or anger behind them and that they exist because they “should” be there. As a whole, this is decent album of inoffensive metal, and this stuff still pulls in the crowds by the bucketload. In terms of benign, polished UK Metalcore, Our Hollow Our Home are one of the better proponents of it.