The Fully Down
So They Say
Tracklist1. Boys! Grab Your Guns
2. Speak Low if you Speak Love
3. The Shake (Awful Feeling)
4. Tired and Uninspired
5. Hiding inside the Horrible Weather
6. The Innocent Letter
7. There are More Frightening Things…
11. All My Friends
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Having spent many humble years touring on the smaller stages of Warped Tour and Taste of Chaos, My American Heart was scraping up any exposure they could find. Their efforts paid off with the help of Kevin Lyman (creator of both tours) who signed the fledgling band to his record label, Warcon Enterprises. My American Heart’s Warcon debut, The Meaning of Makeup, helped them land more recognition from Myspace with a headlining tour. After another trip to the studio and a tweak in their lineup, the band releases Hiding Inside the Horrible Weather.
My American Heart isn’t a band that generates much interest. If anything, the band name itself is already a turn-off. Forget the name. Actually, forget the whole concept of war against emoism. My American Heart isn’t to be stereotyped – fully. Well, at least not with this release. This release is actually more Halifax-esque than how the name makes them sound. With such a contrived and largely Myspace oriented fan-base, My American Heart is an ideal band to go to for quick party jams or an uber-awesome Myspace profile song.
Right from the top of the album, ideal Myspace songs begin to stream. Larry Soliman boyishly sings his first line in “Boys! Grab Your Guns”, but before you begin to question his age (he’s actually 20 and has fully gone through puberty... really), don’t be surprised to have already memorized half the lyrics within your first listen. It shouldn't be expected that you'll find brilliant lyrics in Hiding Inside the Horrible Weather. The band stays away from grandiloquent SAT-words or drama saturated dialogue. No, those are for pansies. Rather, they dive deep into their brain to find the simplest form of blog-poetry to choreograph along with their music. Soliman sings, “All I know is that you’re a time bomb, baby – You’re ready to explode,” as the music explodes behind him on the oh-so-poetic “There Are More Frightening Things...”
The band sure has a bent for flashy moves, however. The majority of the songs are individually packed Cup of Noodles. From their single “The Shake (Awful Feeling)” to “The Innocent Letter”, My American Heart strategically assembles a jam-like melody, a catchy intro, and a fun chorus into each song. After a few minutes in the boiling water, the song is jammed back with cholesterol-pumped crowd pleasures. Yes, Hiding Inside the Horrible Weather has many fun head-bobbers, but none of them really leave an impression other than, maybe, a case of heartburn. Why heartburn? Unlike their lighter counterparts, the tracks found on this album are generally rougher and harder. Be happy they didn’t start screaming.
My American Heart rarely hits a serious note when they write songs, as you can probably tell, but someone must have given these guys the crazy idea to try to be serious at least once, and they sort of pulled it off. In “Dangerous”, My American Heart shows they’ve been listening to some mainstream Corinne Bailey Rae for some time. They make use of light drumming and strumming and Soliman stays off the higher scales. “Dangerous” is a track depicting a new, refreshing angle of My American Heart. Too bad they didn’t stick to it. Tracks such as “Tired and Uninspired” and “All My Friends” were better left in the band members’ private journals.
As a whole, Hiding Inside the Horrible Weather falls to pieces. It starts strong with their mainstream pop but shatters once their first solemn track is played. Well, the boys still have plenty of years ahead of them. They haven’t blown anyone away yet, but they’re getting closer.