It was one of those few moments of instantly falling in love with a band with one song when I first heard Hildamay's This House Became Our Home on Scuzz TV last year. I wasn't even sure how to possibly explain it. It so so sludgy but at the same time sounded so fresh in the same way that it could compete with the constant range of new post hardcore bands that were coming out with the promise of getting big last year. And last year's mini album We Loved We Lost was enough to top many other new bands coming out at the same time. However, with their debut full length album Miles Away, the band's time to shine has fully expanded out into the spotlight.
Throughout your listening to the album, you're left travelling through pounding seas of massive riffage, tight boastful production and top class songwriting to come to a conclusion that leaves you realising the full range of emotion and tone that individuals are able to write with and the ability to do that displaying the passion for making rock and roll that we are so desperately in need of.
This album opens straight away with this shade of talent on the emo-esque melodies that open the album on The Dark as guitarists Ollie Jeffs and Chris Carvell tear into massive post hardcore riffage with Thrice influences worn on their sleeves. These ripping melodies can be heard blitzing across the likes of Changing Key and the emotively tragic Diminuendo packed with massive post hardcore melodies and gigantic sized breakdowns that feel more like Refused in their overall rush of anger and melancholy.
But having experienced that across much of We Loved, We Lost it's surprising to hear some more uplifting material across the album. Broken Records opens in characteristically heavy fashion but has a far more upbeat tone, sounding like a beefed up New Found Glory. Even the sludgy vocals of frontman Tim Lawrence carry out in a warmer style for this song and reach a cleaner melodic style for the shimmering title track with that carries off big hooks and a unshakable beauty.
The amount of mellower moments on Miles Away has also notably increased and show a more sensitive side of Hildamay. Letters Like Bullets and Consequence are the first two songs that give Hildamay the impression of being something resembling an emo band as Lawrence pours out a display of internal emotion that keeps you completely hooked. And as the album goes out on the lashing Because I Cannot Sleep I Make Music packed with dense basslines, you've gone through a wide spectrum of emotions that surpassed far more expectations than were ever imagined.
It's difficult to think of how to describe Hildamay. They play powerful post hardcore music filled with massive grooves beatdowns and solid rock riffing and play it with a powerful emotion just like so many of their contemporaries. But you're so unlikely to find a band that sound so complete as they do this year. They convey the full range of emotion even when sounding fully beefed up on hardcore grit and can sound furious while boasting a velvet laced production. And that makes listening to this album a true privilege. Definitely one of 2012's finest releases.