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Well to start off this review you must know that the boys in Honolulu Breakdown are all about the word “speed”. It’s their forte. They do mix it up in their songs but HB really knows how to play the fast melodic style of punk rock in the vain of The Definitive Measure and Forus.
The year 2009 was impressive for the 4 guys from the Hessen region of Germany. Coming off a big high after a year end 2008 show with the legendary Vodka Juniors from Greece, the guys started 2009 with a goal – finishing up their recordings. The result is their album “Terrible Hot Cardboard”, which is one hot piece of plastic, I must say. You have to respect the dedication that a band must have to put into recording to get their sound just right. Bands like Honolulu Breakdown could have released the disc much sooner but getting the right sound was key and crucial for each member.
The cover art of the album is a parent’s worst nightmare. Doesn’t it make you want to choose a toy from one of those machines with a crane? In all seriousness though, the booklet is nicely done with readable lyrics and the band do not go overboard with pointless info from the recording. Straight to the point, the way it should be.
For a first time listener of the band, someone might be caught off guard with the intro track, a short instrumental, which is similar to classic metal. I don’t know why but the intro makes me think of one of those 70’s studio session songs where artists from the rock/metal world would work together to complete an album, then they’d all fuck off and do another project. But anyways, the intro finishes off…then BANG – Start your engines! The band hits us with “Off the Track”. You can expect this speed for pretty much all of the album! Tim has a very (good) distinct voice and he really keeps up with the tempo changes and stops/go’s. We continue forward with “Foe of You” which has amazing drives on the guitars and drums. Check out the .33 and .46 sec. marks of the track. Short and sweet. “24/7” as the name says, can be heard in a full day without any complaints from the listener. A secret code name for the song?! The guitars have sweet chords in this song and some cool guitar tricks pop up too! Check it out. “Reset your Goals” I would say is the band’s strongest track on the album. It’s solid in all ways like the other tunes but it has a bit of everything if you know what I mean. The element that I appreciate the most though is the stops and goes. They manage to get it done like my beloved Canadian friends of -This Is A Standoff-. The drums are extremely solid as well and worth paying special attention to. Fabi to tell you the truth is one hell of a fucking drummer, listen closely to the feet. His rolls off the toms add that little extra spice to “RYG”, the cherry on top. “Feeding the Beast” is my personal favorite of the album. The intro is superb and the only complaint is that it’s short. The guitars and fast as fuck drums really mesh well! I always find myself pressing repeat on that track then I find out that I’m missing the rest of the songs, silly me. All in all though, I simply love Tim’s vocal melodies in this song, especially in the chorus.
In ending, do check these guys out! You’ll love the melodies that they come out with at high speeds. Whenever some guys are highly influenced by a band such as Passage 4, then people in the punk world have to take notice! The torch has been passed ladies and gentlemen.