As bands grow and continue to move forward with their sound, we, as an audience, expect change. We expect growth. However, often, we find ourselves at odds. How does a band change their sound while remaining at the core the same group? The answer is gradual progression, which is exactly what Here Come Here from Cincinnati, OH did. After starting with a much more pop-punk sound, the group (with a small lineup change) started to create something different – a more melodic, complex and even slightly darker sound.
“We didn’t try and simply repeat what we had done before (in regards to their EP “Lionhead”); we recognized that we were growing as a band and sort of just let the music speak for itself. That process happened again when we were writing for Chernobyl, just on a much larger scale.”
The fans aren’t the only ones who are behind this change. They won the 2015 Madison Theater Band Challenge, headlined America’s Next Stage at the 2015 WEBN Fireworks and played with Trapt and Tantric in 2016.
As someone with little to no previous knowledge of Here Come Here, I decided to sit down and give their newest album “Chernobyl” a listen. Let me just say I was not disappointed.
Chernobyl: As the title track begins, you can already sense that this album will telling a story. That one note played in repetition has a way of bringing about such a haunting and ominous feeling that you start to set a scene. “It’s Chernobyl here so prepare to die.” “Is there anybody out there?” Towards the end, however, the sound changes to a more Thirty Seconds to Mars vibe, mixing a little bit of pop in with it as well. If it were a movie, think of it as being directed by David Lynch.
Adjust Your Eyes At The Chameleon: The song that follows, however, seems a bit disjointed. If I were to point this track in the direction of any particular artist or artistic comparison, it would be an odd collaboration of Alice in Chains, Daughtry and Shinedown. This is a great song vocally for Tom. It gave him an opportunity to show his impressive range and overall tone.
Heartless: This track brings in the aspect of spoken word poetry, reminding me of Shane Koyzcan’s “To This Day.” This interlude is a beautiful and heartbreaking poem of love and loss. It is a nice break from the heaviness that you can hear in the previous track.
I Don’t Get It: This track is one of my top three off of this album. Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy the heaviness of the guitars and the grunge-type of sound that we hear in “Adjust Your Eyes At The Chameleon,” but this track edges ever so slightly into “pop punk” territory. I can imagine hearing this on a rock or alternative radio station in the near future, especially with that amazing guitar solo. As we approach the bridge I hear some Nirvana in it, but as a whole, I think it’s a great track.
Sugarr: This continues following the band’s heavier-quieter pattern. Rarely does a line in a song stick out to me that I can’t stop thinking about it. But this song has just that. I can’t exactly pinpoint an influence in this track but I think that it is another song where the vocals really stand out. I particularly like that the louder instruments only happen during a chorus/pre-chorus. I want to be able to hear what the group is singing about, especially with HereComeHere. Their songs have important lyrics, lyrics that will stick in your head. You won’t be able to hear it if it’s loud guitars and drums the whole time.
“Maybe it’s too late for me. Maybe it’s too late for you as well. Maybe we should wait and see if this ice sculpture has a chance in hell.”
Rooms: This song, to be completely honest, isn’t my favorite. It’s a spoken word-type interlude but I just feel like there is a bit too much going on for me. For some people, that adds to the essence of the song. It accentuates the idea of being locked in a room needing someone to help you, save you or even just hear you. In my personal opinion, it just made me feel a little bit anxious — more anxious than I would like when listening to an album.
Nameless: This track starts off with acoustic guitars so already is in my top three favorite songs. Like “I Don’t Get It,” I can hear this getting some radio play — especially in the college radio circuit. I do hear a lot of Daughtry in this song, which can be why I immediately think radio play but if you listen to the song, I think it’s something a lot of people need to hear. It’s about mistakes and living with those choices. It’s about growing up.
“When there’s nothing left but the memory remains, the hardest part is remembering. Tomorrow I’ll be on my way, so I’m keeping close all the enemies I’ve made.”
Diamonds: This track brings in a electronic sound, something we hadn’t heard a lot of before on this album. For those not expecting it, it might come as a shock. If you like groups like Depeche Mode, I’m sure you’ll like this as well. It is also a poetry-centric mode but a bit longer and more song-like.
Shameless: This track reminds me a little bit of Lady Gaga. I know, that’s really weird. It’s a very uplifting. friendship and camaraderie-driven song. It also brings in some classic rock elements and a catchy guitar riff, and yet another fantastic solo. When I listen to this track I definitely see it on the soundtrack of a coming of age film. You know? It’s the moment when the teen realizes he doesn’t have to go through life all alone and starts fixing up the playground that he and his old friends used to vandalize. I think this has potential to go to a lot of different places.
Toothless: This track I can hear on the new Linkin Park album. It isn’t like the poetry interludes we have had in the previous songs but it’s more instrumental. There are still words but it’s a dialogue as opposed to a monologue. But I think it’s a perfect way to go from “Shameless” into “Lights, Camera, Action.”
Lights, Camera, Action: Bring in the Thirty Seconds To Mars. The vocals are raw and scratchy like we hear with Jared Leto. This song also ranks within the top three for me. I’m a huge fan of vulnerability in music. For me, that’s what music is all about — expression. The previous songs that sort of expression, realness and vulnerability is in the lyrics. We don’t get to hear it through the instrumental as much as we do in “Lights, Camera, Action.”
Crybaby: This immediately changes pace into something faster and brings in some rapping skills. That rapping skill fits in with artists like Linkin Park and Twenty One Pilots while the guitars and drums bring it back to Shinedown/Alice in Chain. The verse lyrics really talk themselves up, like the older rap artists do. I wouldn’t say they’re making fun of a group of people of that genre. I think they’re paying homage by taking that piece of art and making it their own.
Decay & Delay: This song also brings out that vulnerability that I had mentioned earlier. At first listen, it did make me tear up a bit. Although it’s slower, it does tug at your heart strings. It’s telling you to get out of your comfort zone. It’s only a minute long, but you have no idea how much I would love for it to be longer. I want to hear more about this.
“Spread out your arms, see if you can fly. If you fall to your death, at least you put up a fight.”
Hapless: This reminds me of early 2000’s rock. Artists like Evanescence, Three Days Grace and Seether were able to express anxiety, heartbreak and pain in a way that helped kids relate to it. It helped to put on a song and know you’re not alone and I think HereComeHere achieved that wit this track. It’s not fun and it’s not happy – it’s the reality. Sometimes things suck and sometimes life doesn’t work out the way you want to but you have to keep going.
“Now it’s too late to make amends. I’m waiting for my luck to turn around.”
Inevitable: “Everything is coming up roses. Everything is turning out just fine.” We are winding down the story that we started in the beginning of the album. It has that same repetition pattern and starts with a beautiful, almost haunting melody. Then as the song progresses we’re brought back to the dirty, grunge guitars and distorted sound, but that melody is still hiding in the background. It is, in my opinion, the perfect way to end this album.