H2NY – Tremor

H2NY-Press-Photo_RingMasterReview

It has been almost four years since Halfway To New York made an impressive introduction to themselves with the Treading Water EP; a highly enjoyable encounter which only grew in stature and persuasion over time. Since then, apart from the occasional listen of the release, the band has been lost to the shadows of thoughts as a swarm of other encounters have stolen attention.  The band now returns to reclaim ears with first album Tremor and having shortened the name to H2NY, the British quartet show the time between offerings has been well spent breeding new maturity and adventure in their melodic rock.

Formed as 2012 opened its eyes, H2NY have backed up the success of the acclaimed Treading Water EP over time with tours across the UK and performances at the Hard Rock Calling Festival in Hyde Park and headlining Trafalgar Square as part of the Closing Paralympic Celebrations. The band has successfully invaded the US too; supporting Fuel and then Alien Ant Farm whilst playing shows in 38 US States involving the covering of more than 24,000 miles in the process. As mentioned the past couple of years have seen the band slip from focus and personal radar somewhat but fair to say, they have reappeared with a bang with Tremor.

The album opens with the first single taken from it, Bleed. Straight away a muscular wall of riffs and rhythms encase ears, H2NY swiftly showing the power in their sound and equally the harmonic prowess of vocalist Sam Burkey. It is a magnetic entrance only blossoming further as the melodic and sonic enterprise of guitarist Scott De Jongh courts the darker rumbling tones of Daniel Mount’s bass. The great undemanding yet potent band harmonies simply bring richer colour to the captivation; mischievous hooks and a rousing tenacity similarly as persuasive as band and release get off to a masterful start.

art_RingMasterReviewOn the Run follows with its own sinewy strength and presence, and like its predecessor an infectious swagger and imagination which steers every groove and hook straight into a waiting greedy appetite. With the jabbing beats of Martin Griffith framing its resourceful blaze, the track recalls the great essences which made the first EP an easy draw on ears whilst revealing the new dynamics and bold creativity shaping album and songs like Little Piece of Everything which comes next. The band’s latest single makes a less forceful entrance but soon brews its own anthemically nurtured and energetic tempting which has feet and voice in eager participation with its rousing endeavour. Emotively hued with seamless variation in its cry and intensity, the song keeps the spirit already stirred up by the first pair, in full swing.

The melodic croon of Love Behind You firmly engages ears and thoughts with another side to the band’s sound where pulsating beats align with a melancholic caress of guitar as Burkey’s voice shines with emotive expression. There is an underlying tempestuousness led by the great prowling throb of bass to the song too, a volatility which threatens to erupt and at times almost breaks through but always finds itself reined in by the reflective heart of song and word; a design equally soaking Slide By straight after. Elegant and sombre, the track is a serenade of acoustic and melodic flames which also builds more aurally dramatic points in its contemplation.

Both songs keep ears eager and enjoyment ripe but swiftly find them eclipsed by the outstanding pair of Every Inch a King and Caught in the Middle. The first of the two begins as a brooding tempting with dark rhythms and sultry melodic suggestiveness prowling and veining song and ears respectively before uncaging a virulent contagion posing as a chorus. It is glorious stuff, vocals a gripping protagonist as strong and persuasive as the climactic air and sonic invention at work. As its breath dissipates, the track slips into the thicker shadows of its successor. Simultaneously emotionally dark and addictively catchy, the song is a thrilling emotional maze of bold vocals and fiery textures around an almost predatory rhythmic spine. The track is majestic, an ingenious blend of textures and emotive shades taking best song honours.

The following Blue Eyes has a thankless task backing up two major pinnacles of the release yet with its melancholy lined character and body of alternative/melodic rock it has ears and satisfaction on side with ease. Carrying a tinge of Sick Puppies meets Adelitas Way, the outstanding song beguiles before making way for the explosive dynamics of Over and Out which soon has body and soul keenly bouncing. As many of the songs, it has an old friend familiarity and like most uses it as an easily engaging spice to the unpredictability and anthem like vivacity of its unique character.

More Yesterdays Than Tomorrows lays a strongly alluring and feverishly tenacious hand on ears next before the album’s title track soothes, by this point, an admittedly exhausted body and imagination with its heart bred hug and melodic romancing subsequently leading to its own particular blaze of sound and emotion. Each entices and heavily pleases before leaving Counting Sheep to bring Tremor to a fine end with its intimate balladry sculpted on folkish melodies, mesmeric harmonies, and impassioned emotion.

Tremor is a superb ‘return’ from H2NY; an attention and spotlight grabbing proposal which, whilst igniting ears and pleasure, reminds that the prime thought after Treading Water, that the band had a big future ahead of them, is still the undeniable case.

Tremor is released April 15th via iTunes and other stores.

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Pete RingMaster 14/04/2016

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Halfway To New York: Treading Water EP

Having already garnered great acclaim with their debut single Out of Time, UK band Halfway To New York, return with their EP Treading Water. Consisting of five openly impressive and stirring songs it is hard to imagine anything other than increased praise and swarms of new fans sweeping their way. With songs as tight as a frogs mouth near a chimpanzee (yes I have seen that video) and melodies as vibrant and warm as any summer it is an energetic emotive feast of songwriting and music to fall within the full beckoning arms of.

Consistently given comparisons to the likes of Snow Patrol and Stereophonics, the quartet of vocalist Sam Burkey, guitarist Scott de Jongh, bassist Daniel Mount, and drummer Martin Griffith, have not only captured the imagination of the UK but made strong impressions over the water with showcases to industry moguls in LA at the end of February leading to shows at CAA and at The Viper Rooms. Treading Water can only enhance and elevate the eagerness for their sounds when it is unveiled May 21st on Truestone Music.

One can see the reasons for certain comparisons as the EP flows refreshingly over the ear, and even others mentions of bands like U2 in the describing of the sound can be imagined at times though most of all the band that does seem to vein the release is Doves, not so much in direct sound but the driving and persistent energy the bands both are able to infuse into their music.

The title track opens up with sizzling guitar melodies and a held back vocal to gently welcome the ear before the song finds its forceful drive and expansion into a full energised passion. The vocals of Burkey, fully emotive and heart drawn light up the words they deliver whilst de Jongh leaves blazing trails in the wake of his sharp play across the sky of the song whilst accompanied on most tracks by guest guitarist and co-producer Ross O’Reilly. It is not long before the infection sets in and one is fully drawn into trying to compliment the song in voice and limb.

The following What A Way To Go walks a gentler but no less impassioned path through the ear, its striking melodic power and craft an easy fit for the senses and imagination. It does not quite have the captivation of Treading Water but still leaves one with a smile inside something the single Out Of Time also more than achieves. It is easy to see why it had such a big response on its original release its energy and heart as fresh and bright as a spring day. As with all the songs on the EP it has an underlying intensity to it that makes it a formidable and hypnotic presence beneath the equally compulsive inventive melodic charm. The song thumps along with an excitable air but within a controlled and thoughtful frame to thrill the air around it.

The release is completed by crowd favourite at their shows, We Were Wrong and brand new track from the band Going Home, which easily instils a strong anticipation for their new material. As with all many of their tracks there is an anthemic quality to the first of these two which is impossible not to be affected by, the band coming together as a precise unit whilst allowing individual skills to excel within the flowing breath of the song. Going Home is possibly the most passion infused song on the release, its emotion dripping from each note and harmony that lines the track.

To be honest this genre of music does not light many fires here usually but Treading Water has made multiple appearances before ears outside of the review and is destined to make many more. Halfway to New York appear like they are mere steps from headier heights and the Treading Water EP the first large stride.

RingMaster 14/05/2012

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