Skeletons (Hawthorne Heights album)
|Studio album by Hawthorne Heights|
|Released||June 1, 2010|
|Genre||Post-hardcore, emo, alternative rock|
|Hawthorne Heights chronology|
|Singles from Skeletons|
|Bring On Mixed Reviews|||
Skeletons is the fourth full-length studio album by American rock band Hawthorne Heights, released June 1, 2010. It is their first and only album to be released through Wind-up Records, and is also the first release since If Only You Were Lonely to employ screamed vocals, with guitarist Micah Carli adding limited vocals into select tracks on the record. The album was produced by Howard Benson. The album peaked at #50 on the Billboard top 200 albums.
On February 2, 2009, it was announced that the band had signed to independent label Wind-up Records and would release their next album with the label later in the year. Drummer Eron Bucciarelli said Wind-up Records was "still an indie [label] but with the power of a major [label]. ... Its a tight knit group who still truly put the music first and that's comforting to us." Vocalist/guitarist JT Woodruff said the band was "extremely happy" to be signed to Wind-up Records. In addition, he said it was important to the group that they signed with "a label that has maintained a consistent staff and who understands who we want to be as Hawthorne Heights." Bucciarelli mentioned that the band had been working on their next album since May 2008. Four days later, the band made a blog post about their forthcoming album. They said they were "going to hit the studio and release the album as soon as possible without compromising the quality of the songs."
On May 1, 2009, the band announced they were going to Hollywood, California for the course of two months to record their next album. In addition, they revealed that while there is not a new member and no replacement was made for former guitarist/vocalist, Casey Calvert, the new album would feature a new "screamer". While on tour, Hawthorne Heights announced that Micah Carli would now be providing vocals for the band.
As the album was being recorded, Woodruff and Bucciarelli named two songs from the record on several occasions, leading many to believe that they would be released as singles. Acoustic versions of the two songs were also said to have been recorded. The songs are entitled "Here I Am" and "Nervous Breakdown". On October 2, 2009, both Woodruff and Buicarelli posted updates on their Twitter pages saying that they had just finished gang vocals for the record. Woodruff stated "Just finished up doing gang vocals on a few songs. Return to hardcore!"
The band has expressed that the process of writing the music and lyrics to this album has been different from doing so for albums past. Woodruff states: "We had the luxury of time to sit around and think about what we wanted to do, which helped us create something new." Bucciarelli adds: "We wrote more songs for this album than ever before. We wrote over 30, then whittled them down to the absolute best ones. We took parts from some and added them to others and made a Frankenstein out of [th]em. We were always writing, re-writing, arranging and re-arranging. Howard Benson really pushed us in the song writing department to go against what we’ve done in the past."
On November 16, 2009, download cards for the song "Unforgivable" were distributed while on tour. The final track listing for the album was publicly announced on February 5, 2010. On March 23, "Nervous Breakdown" was released as the first official single from the album. The song impacted radio on April 27. On April 21, "End of the Underground" was made available for listening on Buzznet. On May 18, "Drive" was released as a digital single through Rhapsody. The track was made available for download from Verizon as a ringtone on May 20. On May 25, all songs from Skeletons (excluding bonus tracks) were added to Hawthorne Heights' Myspace music player for listening. On May 28, "Nervous Breakdown (Acoustic)" was made available as a free download separate from Skeletons. Skeletons was released on June 1 through Wind-up Records. On September 28, "Bring You Back" was declared a single by Hawthorne Heights on their official website, and began receiving regular radio airplay.
Reviews and reception
Skeletons has received generally positive reviews. A review on the AbsolutePunk website has stated that the album brings out "JT Woodruff’s best vocal performance yet," and is full of "killer choruses."
In an early review of the album, RoomThirteen.com gave the album a 12 out of 13 rating. They stated "For those who fell in love with Hawthorne Heights six years ago, ‘Skeletons’ will merely reaffirm their passion for a band that has survived so much in such a short time. For those who have yet to truly listen to the band, this is an album that will alter your perceptions."
Skeletons stylistically reverts to "music similar to their first two albums", although it has substantially less non-singing vocals. The album "refuses to stomp over old ground" by incorporating "electro" and "pop punk" elements into a few of the tracks. Other reviewers, though, criticize the album by calling it "safe", and saying that it doesn't take any "deviations from the beaten path."
2009 Never Sleep Again tour
On October 14, an e-mail about a nationwide 2009 tour was sent out to the Hawthorne Heights official mailing list. The e-mail stated:
|“||Lots of big HH news for you today folks!
For starters, we will release our new album, titled Skeletons, in early 2010! Secondly, as you should know already, we're kicking off Never Sleep Again '09 with Just Surrender, Monty Are I, Punchline, Anarbor, and Nightbeast on November 2! Get your tickets here and get them today because we will be giving away a limited amount of collectible download cards at each show which include one of our new songs, "Unforgivable" along with some other goodies.
This is your first chance to hear some of our new music, so make sure you get your tickets early and get to the shows early, because once they're gone, you'll have to wait until the album comes out! We'll see you this Fall!
Not all of the bands mentioned ended up joining Hawthorne Heights for the 2009 Never Sleep Again tour. Anarbor declined the offer in order to focus on the recording of their debut album The Words You Don't Swallow. Likewise, Punchline declined and was replaced with The Story Changes, a rock band that formed in Dayton, Ohio, the same city Hawthorne Heights originated in.
Fans had a chance to hear two songs from the upcoming album during this tour, however. As promised, download cards for the song "Unforgivable" were distributed while on tour. In addition, "End of the Underground," which was originally going to be included as a track on the band's previous album, was performed live. On Skeletons, "Unforgivable" became track number 12, and "End of the Underground" became track number 3.
The album's title is not taken from any of the tracks' titles, or even lyrical content on the album (although "End of the Underground" does make lyrical references to skeletons); instead, Woodruff explained:
|“||This album sounds like us, but we were able to grow our sound. We took it down to the essentials, the skeleton of who we are as a band. We then tried on some new skins, and added the flesh and blood. We're just excited to play these new songs and see how people react to them.||”|
Thus, the album was given the name Skeletons.
All lyrics written by JT Woodruff; all music composed by Hawthorne Heights.
|1.||"Bring You Back"||3:26|
|3.||"End of the Underground"||3:19|
|7.||"Last Few Words"||3:04|
|10.||"Here I Am"||3:10|
|11.||"Hollywood & Vine"||2:46|
|iTunes Bonus Tracks|
|14.||"Watching and Waiting"||4:11|
|15.||"This Will Be Televised [Pre-Order Only]"||3:05|
|Summer Tour Bonus Track|
- Hawthorne Heights
- JT Woodruff - Lead vocals, piano, rhythm guitar
- Micah Carli - Lead guitar, death growls
- Matt Ridenour - Bass, backing vocals
- Eron Bucciarelli - Drums, percussion
- "AbsolutePunk review". Absolutepunk.net. 2010-06-01. Retrieved 2012-06-04.
- Heaney, Gregory (2010-06-01). "Allmusic review". Allmusic.com. Retrieved 2012-06-04.
- "BLARE Magazine review". Blaremagazine.com. 2010-05-31. Retrieved 2012-06-04.
- Pernell Fowler (2009-03-16). "Bring On Mixed Reviews". Bring On Mixed Reviews. Retrieved 2012-06-04.
- "RoomThirteen review". Roomthirteen.com. Retrieved 2012-06-04.
- "Skeletons (Sputnikmusic Review)". Sputnikmusic.com. Retrieved 25 June 2013.
- "Album review: Hawthorne Heights takes new direction on ‘Skeletons’". Idobi.com. 2010-06-23. Retrieved 2012-06-04.
- "SKELETONS News | Street Date Update van Hawthorne Heights op Myspace". Blogs.myspace.com. 2010-02-18. Retrieved 2012-03-09.
- "Hawthorne Heights sign with Wind-Up". Alternative Press. Alternative Press Magazine, Inc. February 2, 2009. Retrieved July 31, 2017.
- "Hawthorne Heights blog about upcoming full-length". Alternative Press. Alternative Press Magazine, Inc. February 6, 2009. Retrieved July 31, 2017.
- Tate, Jason (May 1, 2009). "Update from Hawthorne Heights - News Article". AbsolutePunk. SpinMedia. Archived from the original on May 5, 2009. Retrieved July 31, 2017.
- "Hawthorne Heights announcement at School of Rock this past Friday the 13th". Thenjunderground.com. 2009-11-16. Retrieved 2012-06-04.
- JTHawthorne. "JT Woodruff (JTHawthorne) on Twitter". Twitter.com. Retrieved 2010-02-26.
- Hawthorne Heights Bio at Amazon
- "Hawthorne Heights". Hawthorne Heights. Retrieved 2012-06-04.
- "AllAccess.com Alternative eWeekly". AllAccess. April 20, 2010. Retrieved July 2, 2016.
- [dead link]
- "Hawthorne Heights - Skeletons - Album Review". AbsolutePunk.net. 2010-06-01. Retrieved 2012-03-09.
- "Hawthorne Heights - Skeletons - RoomThirteen - Online Rock Metal Alternative Music Magazine - Reviews Interviews News Tours". RoomThirteen. Retrieved 2012-03-09.
- Abstract by Ivan Mitchell. "Album Review: Hawthorne Heights - Skeletons | Prefix". Prefixmag.com. Retrieved 2012-03-09.
- Pernell Fowler (2009-03-16). "Hawthorne Heights - Skeletons - Review | So, Bring On Mixed Reviews". Bringonmixedreviews.com. Retrieved 2012-03-09.
- OkGazette.com tour info[dead link]
- "Alternative Press | News". Altpress.com. Retrieved 2012-03-09.
- "Facebook". Facebook. Retrieved 2012-03-09.