The Heartland are one of those progressive whatevercore bands that like to do their own thing. They don’t care about the pressure to fit into a mold and conform to one genre, which is nice to see. I know I use this phrase too often, but this album goes all over the place. There are so many different influences going on in this album. At times, it sounds like Converge is opening at a Jimmy Eat World show. How about Between The Buried and Me playing with Explosions in the Sky? Hell yeah. This sounds like my kind of record. Speaking of BTBAM, The Heartland takes on a similar type of progressive song structure throughout the album, giving us chaos and extreme music with shifting time signatures and takes a break to be something much more beautiful, atmospheric, and catchy.
The vocals on Frontier range, but not too heavily. You have a Converge carbon-copy of a sort of mid to high-register that I’m not particularly that big of a fan of and then you have an emo/indie clean vocal style that accompanies the music at the time well without being too whiny.
The guitar work is excellent. The guitarist has chops, playing some shredding solos and chugging and grinding along in some complex time signatures and rhythms. Sometimes the band takes a step back and does a jazz or blues solo. Sometimes we get some ambient and atmospheric guitar lines with delay effects that lull us into a false sense of security.
This album is pretty climactic, but somehow it just seems too short for a progressive record. At the end I feel that there’s just more to be desired. I think when hearing this album, we’re hearing a band that’s just now getting comfortable with who they are and experiencing a growth in their sound. This album is pretty solid. I’ll be looking forward to hearing more from this band as they plant their feet and get more comfortable and progress as they move on in their careers.
Check out The Heartland at myspace and listen to one of the lighter jams on the album below.