When Hundredth catapulted into the hardcore-metal scene in 2010 with their debut full length Desolate, their refreshing metallic breed of hardcore helped pave the way for their 2011 breakthrough effort Let Go. In many ways, these two efforts encapsulated the group’s Faith-based ethos and helped them lead the newest wave of this current hardcore revival that we are still witnessing today.
Everything began to change, however, with the band’s 2013 EP Revolt. While they continued to progress their sound in a reputable fashion, it was obvious their motives and message had altered. What was once a sound driven by positivity and a higher calling had now turned into a vessel for the band’s new message of the evaluation of one’s self via the concept of “free mind, open spirit.”
Fast forward to the present day and Hundredth is back with the conclusion to their two-part EP series, Resist. Drastically different both musically and lyrically than Revolt, Resist boasts ethos of looking inward at one’s own self via a polished melodic-based hardcore sound. The effort kicks off with the intro track “Wake”, which just breeches the 30-second mark before abruptly jumping directly into Resist‘s most worthwhile offering, “Shelter”. Why this track was never pushed as a single is truly a mystery; infectious guitar licks, a reputable drumming performance from Matt Koontz, a memorable chorus and a vocal-layered bridge strong enough to make the South rise again, “Shelter” is an indisputable diamond in this rough of an effort.
The EP’s title track and lead single “Demons” follow, and ultimately downgrade its extremely strong opening. “Resist” feels monotonous and forced, while “Demons” is a cliche tale of someone (in this case, the band) straying from their faith and looking within themselves for the answers they’re searching for: “Some may say I lost my faith / I just got up off my knees / Stopped staring into the sky / Started looking inside of me.” This has the potential to be a turnoff – or at least raise some eyebrows – for some of the band’s early fans, as their previous material proclaimed a definite Christian-based message. As aforementioned, it’s quite obvious that things have changed for Hundredth.
After the letdown of both “Resist” and “Demons”, the band rebounds with “Manifest” – a glimpse of hope in a effort plagued by misguided progression. The track opens with a few measures of a sole, calming lead guitar that is soon joined simultaneously by a pristine vocal delivery from frontman Chadwick Johnson and a raw display of refreshing drum patterns. While the track can easily lose a listener’s attention by its conclusion, there are a handful of moments that make up for its lack of consistency.
Resist concludes with a track titled “Wage” that features a spoken-word recording preaching revolution and how it needs to come about, which is reinforced by soaring, anthemic instrumentals. Unfortunately, this is becoming somewhat of a cliche in hardcore; many bands tend to use this as a filler of sorts in order to fill up space on an effort.
With “Wage” paired together with the EP’s intro, Resist is ultimately a four-track effort that falls far short of the band’s true potential. A year ago at this time, Hundredth was a force to be reckoned with in hardcore – and they still are, but they’ve definitively subdued themselves with this lackluster EP. Here’s to hoping the next time Hundredth enters the writing process for whatever future musical endeavors await, they progress in the right direction.