Have Heart – Songs To Scream At The Sun

I don’t know how I am still standing.  I have been working an enormous amount of hours at my job, even working from home on the weekends.  Halloween is in full effect right now when you work at a candy company.  On top of that, my current MBA class is pulling in overtime with the amount of reading material I have assigned to me and papers.  This makes me think all the time, “why am I still going for my MBA?”.  This is a question I fight with myself almost every day.  I’m not complaining, just wondering how I am holding myself together through all of this.  Working on only 3 hours of sleep a day, I don’t drink coffee, and only fueled by this band to keep me going strong.

Another subject I fight with myself every day is who I am.  I never drank, smoked, or done drugs.  People always ask me why?  Quite frankly, I never have an answer.  I always fall back to saying I rather spend my money on music and material things that mean more to me than a quick feeling to my veins.  Most people reply saying I respect that, but in time, they find it weird and not of the norm.  They tend to think I am the one judging them and I’m close minded, but when you think about it, aren’t they the ones close minded in not accepting me for my personal belief?  I never judge people because they drink or smoke.  That is their decision.  As long as it isn’t going into my system, we can be the best of friends.

I fought for a while with calling myself “straight edge”.  In high school it was a thing to say to sum up who I am.  As I got older, people took it in a different light and there was always a negative reaction to it, which made me have a vendetta towards the whole life style.  This doesn’t mean I started using, far from it; I just didn’t like being put in that group that made straight edge sound like a gang or cult.  It wasn’t until I started watching Have Heart’s final performance that I came to the conclusion, this is who I am.

Watching that performance and seeing this band perform with high intense energy, I could only watch and relate.  Have Heart’s lyrical content focuses around hope, positive outlooks, loneliness, family, and overcoming life’s hardest situations.  I can’t relate with all of the lyrics, but Pat Flynn makes it come off as showing urgency in his lyrics and vocals.  Seeing the crowd force itself closer to the band, I can only wish I was there.  This band stands for unity and non-violence.  Everything I stand for in life can be translated in this band, and that is where I can relate with this band whole heartily.

The first time I heard this album was when I went to This Is Hardcore festival in Philadelphia, PA with my friend.  He enjoys this music and I am open minded in going to any show.  I knew what hardcore music sounded like and what was in store, but witnessing it in person is completely different.  Yes these bands are screaming, hitting, and throwing their bodies into the crowd, but it isn’t meant to be violent.  The hardcore scene is probably one of the best music communities around, where most people care for each other and make sure everyone is okay and just having fun.  As for the vocals and music, if the band executes it well, like Have Heart, it sounds fine.  I will admit some bands can’t make it enjoyable, but someone out there will think so.

I was tired of the same music, and knowing this band is straight edge, I bought the album on c.d. from the Bridge 9 Records table on a whim.  These usually end up being my favorite albums.  We listened to the album on the way home and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  It wasn’t until I got home that I listened to it with the lyrics and realized this band had something special.  Songs To Scream At The Sun was Have Heart’s last album, but who knows they could come back.  Ask anyone familiar with this type of music and they will say the same thing.  Have Heart, for a young band, was probably the best band to come around in a long time.  No matter what your preference is Have Heart seemed to win people over.  It might be because their lyrics are very meaningful, honest, and they played liked they mean it.  Don’t worry, they aren’t preaching about straight edge, actually it is barely mentioned it seems.

Coming from New Bedford, Massachusetts, Have Heart comes from a very well-known hardcore state.  Songs To Scream At The Sun is their second and last album and shows their musical progression from their first album.  I wonder what they would have sounded like if they stayed together.  Pat Flynn, the sole lyrical writer and singer said this about the album,

“Songs to Scream at the Sun is the coming of age story. It’s about the growing process of a young kid shaking the chains of selfishness, but it’s everything about what you lose and gain in that process of growing up.”

Why did I get personal above?  If this album is portraying Pat’s life, then this is a very personal album.  It only felt right that I acted personal in my opening.  The first two songs focus around what seems like a father that never was there or wasn’t the best father he could be. Towards the end of the song “Bostons” it seems like the narrator will become someone unlike his father.  Someone that will have a life his father never had.

“Pave Paradise” starts off with an excellent drum solo and keeps the same pace like its predecessors.  The song focuses around being in a band and living with four guys in a very confined space.  Knowing how that is from experience, it can tend to drive people insane.  The next song is a love song according to Pat Flynn.  The thing about Pat’s lyrics is that they paint a very visual picture.  Also for a young age, he can write deep lyrics.

“So untie your feet,
Reattach your wings,
So you don’t have to open your throat to sing,
Because if it’s you I love, then from you,
I’d walk away.”

“Brotherly Love” starts off slow, but then builds into a monster of a song.  The backup vocals fit perfectly with this song.  The echoing scream will stick in your mind throughout the rest of the album.

“We always seem to fall with only words to hold,
We always seem to fall with only photos to hold,
We always seem to fall with only memories to hold,
We always seem to fall without family to hold.”

“No Roses, No Skies” is a song that needs to be heard.  In this world, especially women, we are always forced to look, feel, and act as how the media wants us to.  Some days it is sickening to see that people can’t be themselves or think for themselves.  I don’t want to sound bitter, but it isn’t the way to live.  Another thing straight edge is about is being who you are and not letting your addictions take over your life.  This song lays that our perfectly.

“The TV screens,
The magazines,
Scream at you like the dogs of hell,
Advertising and advising you to be,
Anyone but your beautiful self.

With no shoulder,
No hand,
No body,
No man,
No door,
No heart to let you,
The sun can take too long to end the endless night,

I hear you,
I feel you,
I bleed with you,
When our hearts begin to scream,
This life can feel too long.”

“The Taste Of The Floor” touches on the feeling of loneliness.  Something we all have faced in life.  Clocking in at 54 seconds, this song can really pull someone’s heart strings.  Bleeding into the next song “Reflections”, an instrumental song, gives you air to breathe until the album finishes strong.

The second to last song reminds me of the poet Robert Frost.  Frost would always compare his lost love to trees and nature.  “Hard Bark On The Family Tree” does this also, but you can tell it is focused more on a broken home.  I don’t come from a broken home or divorced parents, but I can enjoy the songs about the subject.  Pat Flynn, again, has a way of making his lyrics and vocal sound honest and show a sense of urgency.  You get wrapped up into his words that you know this guy isn’t faking these feelings.

“Outside the door with these open arms,
With the warmth of the maple tree,
If these trees can’t replaces these scars,
Then let their leaves just bury me.”

The album ends with “The Same Sun”.  If this is Have Heart’s last album, then they went out on a good note with this song.  The longest song on the album, this song builds, and builds until it is just feedback and Pat’s vocals.  This song can sum up the whole album with the lyrics, the melodies, and the heart wrenching vocals.  Again if this is Have Heart’s last album, they ended well especially with the last line.

“Arise my soul and sing.”

Even though this album is a full length and just over the 20 minute mark, it should not be looked over.  I know some people don’t like this music, but if you look pass the vocals and dig deep in the lyrics, you will discover a whole new world.  This is as honest as it gets in this industry.

I purchased this vinyl at Double Decker Records in Allentown, PA.  Highly recommend making a trip there.  Great selection and prices.  There was no digital download card, and from Bridge 9’s website, my version is a first pressing with only 531 made.  Since the album came out before those were big, it only makes sense why there wasn’t one.  The album has been pressed again and in its 5th pressing.  I suggest picking it up and giving this band a shot, you won’t be let down.

“Live, Love, Learn.”
“You are not a slave to your addictions,
You are not a slave to depression.”

Buy Vinyl:
http://www.b9store.com/haveheart
http://revhq.com/
http://www.interpunk.com/

Final Show:
Part 1 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fXedxfqzC4I&list=UUkniqQa1iBtywn7-TqcTXVw&index=13&feature=plcp
Part 2 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bRSW-_bGpY4&feature=BFa&list=UUkniqQa1iBtywn7-TqcTXVw
Part 3 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=47I_msW_-As&feature=BFa&list=UUkniqQa1iBtywn7-TqcTXVw
Part 4 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zsWoB_6_sbA&feature=BFa&list=UUkniqQa1iBtywn7-TqcTXVw
Part 5 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f5rr7182r1g&feature=BFa&list=UUkniqQa1iBtywn7-TqcTXVw
Part 6 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r7QgXp1hriE&feature=BFa&list=UUkniqQa1iBtywn7-TqcTXVw
Part 7 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oZ7XXck_FY8&feature=BFa&list=UUkniqQa1iBtywn7-TqcTXVw

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