Associations that popped in my mind when my shrink said, “North Dakota” were sunflowers, South Dakota, and Man on Fire, so when I found out that These Hearts, a pop-punk/hardcore band, is from Fargo, North Dakota, I was puzzled; however, I did then learn that North Dakota has the most churches per capita of any State in the U.S., which explains the band’s Christian background. But, fear not any heathen music enthusiasts among you! While the music is positive and uplifting, it doesn’t go out of its way to cram any beliefs down your throat. Instead, you’re more likely going to notice the amazing juxtaposition of brutal screams with catchy, clean vocal hooks.

A recent addition to the Victory Records family, These Hearts fits in perfectly next to their label mates A Day To Remember. Specifically what I like about their sound is that the guitars employ similar detuned, string-popping riffs like you’d expect from Issues or Volumes, but with a clean shaven after taste comparable to Chunk! No, Captain Chunk!

Honestly, I’ve been waiting for more bands like These Hearts. Their riffs are solid and identifiable, unlike many of those of their peers which can be summarized as “0—0—0-0-0—0—0-0” #guitaristjokes. The screams are used tastefully where you get the sense of energy/passion but isn’t overwhelming like teenage PDA. And, the clean vocals are addictive as Pringles. The lyrical content tends to be more young love/angst oriented, but the word play and melodies are masterfully sewn together.

Warning: while the pop factor will appeal to anyone that listens to bands like Sleeping With Sirens or All Time Low, there is plenty of punch on this album that might seem intimidating at first. To those of the heavier persuasion, you will find yourself subconsciously singing along and bobbing your head whilst clenching your fists for your chance to mosh or kung fu two step, depending on how old your Vans are.

PS: Acoustic jam at the end is straight Beez Neez.

Track Listing:

01. This Is Love (Feat. Bert Poncet)
02. The Inconvenience
03. Psycho
04. Miserable
05. Been Through Hell
06. Last Man Alive
07. Birds Of A Feather
08. Undecided Story
09. War (Feat. Mattie Montgomery)
10. LOTR
11. Never Mind Me

Run Time: 32:45
Release Date: July 9, 2013

Check out the song “Miserable”