A brilliantly accomplished, well written and produced album. The pain of waiting for this to come along will pay off exponentially with each listen, each goosebump and each singalong.
The moment album opener ‘You’ rips out of the speakers it is clear that Belle Haven mean business. The melodic guitar work and an energetic pace is coupled with an instant hook that will have you singing “Give me seven reasons why” like it was an old favorite. The occasional bursts of screaming and jarring heaviness come and go for effect but the overall feeling is that the band have found the best fit for them and it isn’t hard to see the less-is-more principle working really well here.
‘Carving Knife’ was the early teaser for the album and reinforces the bands finesse for swinging between melodic rock anthem and hard hitting post hardcore even more. The vocal production is terrific making good use of layering, harmonies and backing voices to add depth and size. The big hard edged finish is just the kind of stuff that will attract new fans and keep old ones.
‘Burn The Witch’ sees the return of creepy/circus like keyboards and intense fury they have been revered for since the beginning. The utter mess of noise forms up like Voltron cats answering a call to become a power house chorus that dissolves back into more noise and abrasive hardcore. The way the band has framed their melodic passages in between harsh and discordant movements enhances the impact of each element in ways that other bands are still trying to grasp. I predict that it’s exactly the sort of thing that other bands will aim for in moving forward within the genre.
I absolutely love the dirty bass that kicks off ‘Hollywood’ and the way the drums carry the doom and sludge without guitars for a change. There’s some feedback and noise happening along with lots of indecipherable vocal work which all cements the sound to perfection. This kind of risk taking is really exciting to hear and feels a bit like a love letter to ‘The Chariot’ circa Wars-era. A far cry from the earlier ‘ear-friendly’ tracks that come before it but variety is one of the strongest elements behind ‘You, Me and Everything In Between’.
The following track ‘Master’ is a blistering and brief slab of post hardcore that doesn’t give up for a moment. There’s a great syncopated rhythm in the ending that pummels into a huge doomy breakdown and …just damn…it’s crazy good!
‘By Hook or by Crook’ is a piano led lament which gives Vernon a chance to breathe and sing a heartfelt piece about loss, the pain of grief and hate. Lyrically it’s just raw, uncomfortable and awfully honest. ‘I told myself he’s not a ghost, he’s not a ghost just yet, but then you took him and I hate you, I’ll come for your head, if you were real, what do you want? Just give me back my friend’ Prepare yourself. A lot of bands in this genre/scene will have a crack at something like this and fail to come across as sincerely and unguarded as Belle Haven have managed to present here. I get the feeling this one might have been more for the band and less for the punters.
In summary.. You, Me and Everything In Between is a great album from a great band. Great production. Great artwork worth examining and appreciating the intricate set up that makes the front cover. The detail and design makes a fun task of finding all the little clues and nods to the albums themes and content. Well worth parting with your hard earnt for a physical copy. (see links below)
** I also want to link to a great write up that goes into more personal detail about the stories behind the songs. This ethos is essentially the corner stone of the album and where the band is at right now…or more specifically, where they were. It’s a great read.. hit the link:
It all drops June 16.. click a link and go pre-order it!!!!
*Feature photo cred > PJ Pantelis