Album review: Hawthorne Heights – The Rain Just Follows Me

Emo heavyweights Hawthorne Heights deliver emotions and breakdowns on album number eight, The Rain Just Follows Me.

Album review: Hawthorne Heights – The Rain Just Follows Me
Aliya Chaudhry

The Rain Just Follows Me, the eighth album from Ohio emo champs Hawthorne Heights, is a comfortable addition to their catalogue, one in which they create carefully calibrated mix of soft and heavy. The songs blend clean vocals and bright melodies with screams and brutal guitars seamlessly, like on Thunder In Our Hearts, which has a heavy opening, sparse verses and builds from there to a bouncy post-chorus.

It's also a record filled with cameos: Brendan Murphy of Counterparts guests on Constant Dread; Bayside’s Anthony Raneri delivers a scene-stealing performance on Spray Paint it Black; and William Ryan Key (formerly of Yellowcard) sings on Seafoam.

The songs overall have exciting vibes, but too often fail to deliver on choruses, which fall flat (Words Can’t Hurt) and feel familiar (Seafoam). The highlights are undoubtedly the all-out heavy breakdowns, which the band are able to pull off even on the album’s softer moments. Among the best tracks are the high-energy, high-speed Holy Coast, and catchy and breezy Palm Canyon Drive, a song simply made for summer song. Opener Constant Dread, meanwhile, has a darkness and heaviness that make it sound like it could have come off of the band’s first album, and Bambarra Beach has a thrilling intensity from the heavy opening to the urgent verses to the whispers that build into chants during the breakdown.

The Rain Just Follows Me is an easy listen and an album that showcases the band’s range and skill, but there’s not much that makes it stand out from, or even hold up to, the rest of the band’s work. It could have done with some of the gripping drama of Hawthorne’s earlier releases and more of the energy they brought to Bambarra Beach. While there are a handful of strong songs, they could get lost among Hawthorne’s hits – solid, but not especially special.

Verdict: 3/5

For fans of: Underøath, Silverstein, Taking Back Sunday

The Rain Just Follows Me is released on September 10 via Pure Noise

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