Halfway To New York
It has been almost four years since Halfway To New York made an impressive introduction to themselves with the ‘Treading Water’ EP; a highly enjoyable encounter which only grew in stature and persuasion over time. Since then, apart from the occasional listen of the release, the band has been lost to the shadows of thoughts as a swarm of other encounters have stolen attention. The band now returns to reclaim ears with first album ‘Tremor’ and having shortened the name to H2NY, the British quartet show the time between offerings has been well spent breeding new maturity and adventure in their melodic rock.
Formed in 2012, H2NY have backed up the success of the acclaimed ‘Treading Water’ EP over time with tours across the UK and performances at the Hard Rock Calling Festival in Hyde Park and headlining Trafalgar Square as part of the Closing Paralympic Celebrations. The band has successfully invaded the US too; supporting Fuel and then Alien Ant Farm whilst playing shows in 38 US States involving the covering of more than 24,000 miles in the process. As mentioned the past couple of years have seen the band slip from focus and personal radar somewhat but fair to say, they have reappeared with a bang with ‘Tremor’.
The album opens with the first single taken from it, ‘Bleed’. Straight away a muscular wall of riffs and rhythms encase ears, H2NY swiftly showing the power in their sound and equally the harmonic prowess of vocalist Sam Burkey. It is a magnetic entrance only blossoming further as the melodic and sonic enterprise of guitarist Scott De Jongh courts the darker rumbling tones of Daniel Mount’s bass. The great undemanding yet potent band harmonies simply bring richer colour to the captivation; mischievous hooks and a rousing tenacity similarly as persuasive as band and release get off to a masterful start.
‘On the Run’ follows with its own sinewy strength and presence, and like its predecessor an infectious swagger and imagination which steers every groove and hook straight into a waiting greedy appetite. With the jabbing beats of drummer Martin Griffith framing its resourceful blaze, the track recalls the great essences which made the first EP an easy draw on ears whilst revealing the new dynamics and bold creativity shaping album and songs like ‘Little Piece of Everything’ which comes next.
The melodic croon of ‘Love Behind You’ firmly engages ears and thoughts with another side to the band’s sound where pulsating beats align with a melancholic caress of guitar as Burkey’s voice shines with emotive expression. Shades of Snow Patrol here without doubt and encapsulated by the acoustic led ‘Slide By’ straight after. Elegant and sombre, the track is a serenade of acoustic and melodic flames which also builds more aurally dramatic points in its contemplation. Indeed, the electric guitar hook that drifts in and out of that song is also reminiscent of the mighty Coldplay no less....
Both songs keep ears eager and enjoyment ripe but swiftly find them eclipsed by the outstanding pair of ‘Every Inch a King’ and fellow moody slow-burner ‘Caught in the Middle’. The first of the two begins as a brooding tempting with dark rhythms and sultry melodic suggestiveness prowling. If anything, the band sound more generic and straightforward the louder they get. And while they are capable of delivering some rousing foot-stompers, , they’re definitely at their most striking when reining it in more.
The following ‘Blue Eyes’ has a thankless task backing up two major pinnacles of the release yet with its melancholy lined character and body of alternative/melodic rock it has ears and satisfaction on side with ease.. ‘More Yesterdays Than Tomorrows’ also benefits from a slow build before the album’s title track soothes, by this point, an admittedly exhausted mind and body and together with ‘Counting Sheep’, bring ‘Tremor’ to a fine end with its intimate balladry sculpted on folkish melodies, mesmeric harmonies, and impassioned emotion.
Halfway To New York or H2NY as they are now known have offered more than enough on their debut LP to be worthy of your respect and admiration. They’re clearly an act to keep an eye on. ‘Tremor’ is a striking debut.
On The Run
Little Piece of Everything
Love Behind You
Every Inch A King
Caught In The Middle
Over & Out
More Yesterdays Than Tomorrows
Wrinkly The Silver