The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

HAILMARY

CHOICE . PATH . CONSEQUENCE . SOLUTION

2012

 

POST-GRUNGE NEAR-PErFECTION

 

 

 

I’ve always liked these guys live, but never really heard any of their previous recorded material as someone who used to contribute to the site always got to the EPs before I did! So it’s with a fair amount of anticipation that I give this one a spin.

 

 

 

Hailmary sonically are firmly post-grunge sound and with production from Jeff Tomei ( Alice In Chains, Jerry Cantrel, Matchbox 20 and Smashing Pumpkins to name but a few) if anything they effectively pigeon-hole themselves. Now that’s not necessarily a bad thing these days as there are plenty of people still searching for their hit of the early nineties rock.

 

 

 

CPCS opens up with a meandering title track which sets the lyrical tone, but really is little more than an introduction to the song ‘Yellow Light of Death’ which sticks out primarily because it’s far heavier than the rest of the on offer here, and it’s hard to tell therefore if that’s where Hailmary might eventually head, especially given its prominent positioning and status as single.  It’s a solid song, light on the growls and as muscular as say AIC or Soundgarden; but it’s not completely convincing.

 

 

 

‘Control Freak’ shows what most local fans already know: that Curran can write a decent hook and with a touch of radio-friendliness and dare I say Nickelback drive it’s certainly a song that will turn a few heads as will its immediate neighbour ‘Reminiscence’ with its light and dark touches that so characterised the rise and fall, ebb and flow dynamics of grunge and its children.

 

 

 

 ‘Wake Up’ is a decent working of the Alice in Chains template and sounds fresh laid on the bones of a solid riff. Just as an aside, at times I also get elements of Pink Floyd just briefly seeping into the mix which adds a bit of taste to proceedings, but hey maybe that’s just me! To be honest there are a lot of good things on here but also a few songs you feel could have done with longer in the oven.  ‘Running Away’ has touches of Blue Oyster Cult on the back of radio friendly rock but is largely forgettable as it never quite seems to get there, same with ‘Yesterday’s Friend’ which is a little ‘by numbers’. To counter that you get gems like ‘Two Wrongs’ and especially ‘Weighing You Down’ which seem to do everything right.

 

 

 

One of the standouts for me is the quirkier ‘Monday Mundane’ which gets the dynamics just right and hits the later Soundgarden nail firmly on the head. Wonderful song. We close with a  couple of great numbers too: ‘The Way It Was’ that recalls lighter, later Beatles-infused Soundgarden  and closer ‘Self (Destructive) Made Man’ which is my favourite on here and draws all of the elements of all of the things Hailmary does so well and nails it in a perfect three minutes and six seconds.

 

 

 

This is a well-produced, well executed set of songs that will creep into your brain. The sound overall is if anything a little ‘clean’ and doesn’t have that miasma that clouded some of AIC’s early work, but largely it works beautifully. Curran’s voice suits the music too without setting him up for any awards its solid though at times can but a little monotone, whilst on other songs it manages to soar. As a collection of songs this is strong indeed, a real step up, and another great example of what we produce here in Perth. I can see great things ahead for Hailmary but I don’t see the future necessarily being in Australia's West.

 

 

 

By Mark Diggins