The album is accomplished without being pretentious and cathartic without bitterness -...
Kate Lawrence 2002-11-20
Hundred Reasons first emerged into the popular consciousness in 2000, that fruitful time when rock music started to be really good again. Even then they were a cut above the rest. Whilst they didn't capitalise on the uprising of rock at the time, (you'll still find the band playing Clubs rather than Arenas) this means they retained a certain credibility. And they managed to neatly dismiss the lazy emo-rock labelling that they clearly didn't welcome.
This second album sees them settle into their style, resulting in a consistently polished album of good hearted, anthemic rock. You might long for the slightly raw edginess that originally made them stand out from the crowd, but Hundred Reasons know what their fans love and this album presents us with an unadulterated selection of uplifting riffs and crunching rock.
Sturdy opener "Savanna" is about as moody as it gets; pointless whining clearly isn't an option with these boys. The album does sometimes err towards the mainstream a little more than perhaps hoped. A prime example of this is "Stories With Unhappy Endings" which sounds suspiciously like a watered down Jimmy Eat World which is disappointing given the more petulant promise of HR's debut album. Perhaps this is due to the overbearing influence of American producer Dave Sardy.
However, there are some really great anthems on Shatterproof Is Not A Challenge - "Harmony", whilst appearing plaintive (if not slightly repetitive) from the comfort of your lounge, will no doubt prove to be a fantastic live rabble-rouser. "Truth Without Elegance" is another stand out track which builds up to a roaring chorus that tests Colin Doran's vocals to their limit.
The album is accomplished without being pretentious and cathartic without bitterness - in short, it's good old shouty rock music. Whilst it will never be considered cutting edge, you have to ask whether it needs to be. With bands like Hundred Reasons providing the kids with music of this quality, we can hope that the currentrock revival will remain more than just a fad.