"Beloved… I Caught You When You Fell"

(Crash Music)

01. For Some Reason, Goodbye Just Doesn't Cover It
02. Romance Is Dead
03. Acquittal
04. Something To Remember You By
05. Cutting Room Floor
06. Without You
07. Bittersweet Forevers
08. What We've Become
09. Brush That Bled…
10. This Heart, These Knives: Last Note

RATING: 5/10

First of all, let's give CRIES HANNAH a little credit. In an age where most Christian bands choose an ambiguous and vague way to express themselves, these Missouri natives are about as direct as it gets in expressing their faith. It's also nice to read, in their MySpace mission statement (and if that phrase makes you laugh involuntarily, you're probably as old and cranky as me), that they're not using their Christianity to bludgeon everyone within 500 feet. They acknowledge that they fall short of the perfection they seek, speak humbly of their beliefs, and invite others to be their friends even if their beliefs differ. As far as their message goes, I like these kids already.

Unfortunately, there's the small matter of their music. Their biography points out that they fuse melody with hardcore and metal, in a tone of voice that suggests they just invented something that'll knock all our socks off. But I think even if this scene wasn't glutted with second-rate bands and two years past its expiration date, CRIES HANNAH would still fare poorly. Everything about their music — vocals, guitars, melody lines — just screams "generic," and points to a band still in thrall to their influences without enough individual personality to set them apart.

I'm gonna keep this short, because I wish this band the best, and I'm encouraged by their outlook on things. There's no reason to unduly trash them, either, because they're decent at what they do. They're just another band signed too early, who could — if time, luck, or maybe divine intervention do them some favors – evolve into something more interesting. For now they're just cookie-cutter, emo-tinged metalcore, a day late and a dollar short, and you could probably throw a rock in your town and hit three bands who can pull the same sound off as convincingly. CRIES HANNAH are at square one, and while they show promise, they have a long way to go.


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