It doesn’t take a genius to work out that Almost There is going to be one hell of a personal album, and you only have to have a quick glance down the song titles for proof of that. “Home/Sick”, “Sleeping Alone”, “Old Tattoos”, “Life Goes On” – the list is endless (well, runs to 13 actually) and it all points to an emotional album inspired by memories, relationships, life experiences, and loneliness.

As the mellow tones of “Proposal” bleed into the title track, you get the impression that these UK melodic hardcore boys, and especially vocalist Charlie Holmes, are in no mood to hold back. Rowdy, raucous yet melodic punk/hardcore is the order of the day here with the Holmes raspy, gritty vocals providing the perfect accompaniment to it all. As explained in my introduction, it was clear that Holmes had a lot to get off his chest on this album and you can tell, as he screams and howls his way through the opening verses of “Almost There”, that he is squeezing every ounce of emotion into his performance.

With lyrics that are as much inspired by his life as the majority of the tattoos that cover him, Holmes uses the likes of “Sleeping Alone” and “Life Goes On” as vehicle to vent those experiences in heart-wrenching fashion. Don’t be mistaken though, Almost There isn’t just the Charlie Holmes Show as the rest of Heart In Hand also put in the sort of performance that could only come from, pardon the phrase, wearing your heart on your sleeve. Blasts of gritty hardcore and punk as raw as the emotion shown in Holmes’ vocals, this display of anger, love, hate and loneliness, is completed by the soothing layers of ambience that the band flirt with throughout the course of the album.

While Holmes’ tattoos may fade over time, the same can possibly not be said about the emotion shown in the lyrics to songs like “Home/Sick”. In an age where music is such a throw away commodity, it’s refreshing to find a vocalist like Holmes along with a band like Heart In Hand who treat their art as much more than just a way of making money.

Track Listing:

01. Proposal
02. Almost There
03. Home/Sick
04. Vows
05. Sleeping Alone
06. Cuts and Bruises
07. Maybe
08. Old Tattoos
09. Life Goes On
10. Broken Lights
11. Our Atlantic
12. Direction
13. Latter

Run Time: 46:46
Release Date: May 14, 2013

Check out the song “Almost There”

I have an unhealthy obsession with bad horror movies, the song Wanted Dead Or Alive and crap British game shows. I do this not because of the sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll lifestyle it affords me but more because it gives me an excuse to listen to bands that sound like hippos mating.