Double bass, ear splitting riffs, hair raising scream.
That's how the sophomore release from England's The Hurt Process (Victory Records) starts out. Within the first minute of the opening track "Anchor", you have a feeling that you are about to be subjected to 10 tracks of pure metal angst from this 5 piece band. Unfortunately, what you get over the course of the next 40 minutes is everything from metal, to emo, to punk, and everything in-between. The band has seemingly touched every genre of independent and underground music under the sun. While this isn't necessarily a bad thing, it's not a good thing either. It almost seems, while listening, that instead of trying to focus on one definitive style and perfecting it, they have instead attempted to touch on all of the conceivable ways to incorporate each different style within the scope of the album. The album ranges from the metal overtones of the opening track, to the screamo-tendencies of "You Don't Get Gold For 2nd Place" (which still hits close enough to metal to make it flow well early), to the opposite extreme of power punk songs like "Boogie Nights in Michigan".
The most glaring example of the scope of musical styles The Hurt Process covers on this release comes towards the end of the cd, when they pull off a very convincing Chris Carrabba/Dashboard Confessional impersonation with "The Night Before The Morning After", then switch gears the very next track back into the metal-riffed, growling tendencies of "Delicious 53". The disparity between the two songs is so out of place and different stylistically, that it takes away from the overall quality of the cd. However, the band finishes the album on a very strong note, closing out with what this reviewer would consider to be hands down the best track on the entire album, "Reading Into It". This song encompasses everything that is good about hard music. Great riffs, intense vocals, mixed with some melodic hardcore tendencies.
Had The Hurt Process stuck with this style throughout, they would have been much more successful at pulling off an excellent release, full of enough passion and angst, but balanced with enough melodic energy to keep you wanting more. Instead, what you end up with is an album that could probably be considered not much more than mediocre, when it had the possibility to be great.