H2O - Use Your Voice
Bridge Nine Records
All it took where the eight words “My friends look at for me like family…” to get me hooked onto H2O. That was almost twenty years ago and it’s safe to say that the professor of keeping a positive mental attitude, Toby Morse, and company have been one of my favorite melodic hardcore-punk bands ever since! Unfortunately the band, that originated in New York City but with its members being scattered all over the East –and West Coast through the years, doesn’t boost out the same amount of releases anymore as they did in the mid 90’s to early 00’s, with their last ‘real’ studio album “Nothing To Prove” dating back to 2008 already.
But this cycle of a new studio-album once every seven years seems to work well for H2O. Preferring quality over quantity the past 14 years (though it also could be the mentioned ‘logistic issues’), the brand new “Use Your Voice” still captures the same passion, energy and drive as it did on their self-titled debut album for Blackout! Records or the Epitaph days. Pop-like harmonies, fast-paced hardcore-punk and lyrics straight from the heart still go hand in hand after all these year. Bound to inspire a whole new generation of kids, while fans from the first hour could wonder if “Use Your Voice” is perhaps H2O’s best work to date? Because the more I hear this album, the more I start to believe so myself, simply because there isn’t a bad song on “Use Your Voice”!
I love the youthful energy of “Skate!”, the Descendents and Minor Threat references in “Father Figure”, the retrospective lyrics of “From The Heart”, the out of the box and extremely catchy “Popage” and the stunning hardcore-love song “True Romance”, which is absolutely the cherry on top of the cake with the words; “Friendship, communication, thrust.”, ringing through your ears as the song fades away… at least if you don’t have the album on ‘repeat all’. Else you’ll have actor Michael Rapaport ringing through your ears as he starts this baby up as he did for the track “What Happened” seven years ago!
Basically a no-brainer if you are a fan of H2O. I raise my glass of Pepsi Max to 20 more years of H2O and keeping it PMA, cheers!