“Isn’t Real” finds Massachusetts’s Half Hearted Hero moving on from the faster and more aggressive sound of their previous albums, and settling on a moderate pace. Still packs plenty of energy though. And melody. Even though they don’t get as in your face about it as other bands.
As a result “Isn’t Real” may not be as instantly catchy as some of their peers’ albums, but spend some time with it and you’ll find that it grows on you. One thing that does become obvious right away, is that the band has spent a fair amount of time crafting and shaping “Isn’t Real”. It ebbs and flows very naturally and should really be listened to as a whole that will remind you of Saves The Day and Limbeck (minus their Southern twang), while Bayside may come to mind during the punchier parts.
“Isn’t Real” might not become a classic, but it’s definitely Half Hearted Hero’s most accomplished album to date and shows a maturity that their previous releases didn’t possess. I read somewhere the band started writing this album as a eulogy after struggling as a band for years. If that’s the case, then they failed horribly. Instead, they sound more invigorated than ever on “Isn’t Real”.