New Album: To Those We Have Loved And Lost
Released: 22 August 2015
Hanshotfirst are a 5-piece rock band from just outside London, Guildford, Surrey in England. I have been a big fan of Hanshotfirst since their self-titled debut EP was released in June 2014. Following their two side single “Sarah, Tone In / History” which was released in October 2014, it has seemed like a long time for us to hear their new material, even though it has been only 14 months since their debut.
“To Those We Have Loved And Lost” is structured such a way that it seems like a story telling. It starts with a short track “This Is The Start Of Something”. Before an instrumental intro, this track begins with the speech by George VI. The speech he made to his people in Britain immediately after Britain’s Declaration of War against Germany in 1939. It works well with the following beautiful synth and acoustic guitar sounds, then with the painfully sad lyrics, sung solely by one of their vocalists Mikey.
A heavier sound suddenly begins, almost as if waking you up for the second track “Silent Screams”. This is probably the most typical Hanshotfirst track on this album. Another vocalist Ed takes lead accompanied by the voice of Zander who is known as their frontman and for his unclean vocals, raps. Then Zander takes lead and Mikey joins in. It is my favourite track of the album.
The third track “Bagabonds” is a song to get your foot-tapping. This could be featured as the main song of their performance. Also, it is possible that “Bagabonds” will become popular as their next single.
“Gone Away” also show off the strong Hanshotfirst sound. Each of the vocalists takes a solo part, as well as clean vocals and unclean vocals being sung together at the same time. It starts gently and friendly, then ends in an emotional state.
“And Through The Darkness We May Find The Light” is another short track. This is a calm before the storm kind of tune. It is a beautiful song without needing any words.
“We Fall Down” is one of the songs that shows their gentler side. This is the first single from this album, which was released in July. The instrument part is simple, but the tune is deep. This is the biggest song they have produced so far.
“Jessica” begins with a friendly pop rock sound, then it changes to a darker sound. Mikey’s falsetto hugely contributes to make this song very much their own, and is very attractive.
“Seamless” brings this album back to the slightly aggressive side of Hanshotfirst. This song also includes a part of the King’s speech, which blends in to the song naturally. Zander’s unclean vocal is on top form at the end of the song.
“They Say People Don’t Believe In Heroes Anymore” is another big song. You can hear additional female vocals. Amy Thomas’ voice makes the song very clean and gentle. Her duet with Mikey is something which would bring you to tears.
Followed by “Settle in Seattle”, the song seems like a real anthem, with Ed singing with his distinctive voice this time. This is a real sing-along tune.
“No Feeling Is Final” ends the album. This is an instrumental, and a hugely enjoyable tune. It reminds me of Johann Pachelbel.
You can watch the music video for “We Fall Down” here;
I do not know about the musical background of the members of Hanshotfirst, but I have a feeling there has been some sort of formal musical training at some point in their lives.
I have listened to this album “To Those We Have Loved And Lost” over and over again. The first time I listened to it, I questioned myself, what sort of direction is Hanshotfirst hoping to go? What I would answer with is that there is no one word to describe the direction they hope to go in. They show their hard side which we are more familiar with, and also softer side which is displayed hugely over the album. What they will become capable is unknown. Hanshotfirst are a very special band. They have three lead vocalists, each one of whom is completely different to the other – all three are very strong vocalists in their own way. The two other members who I haven’t mentioned, Will and Merek provide a powerful accompaniment on drums and bass to complete the Hanshotfirst sound. There is no other band like Hanshotfirst – they are very unique.
You can stream and purchase their debut album “To Those We Have Loved And Lost” on BandCamp here;
Also “To Those We Have Loved And Lost” is available on SoundCloud for streaming;
Hanshotfirst have just completed their first tour in the UK. They are going to have some more shows locally in the near future, and they are enthusiastic about their next tour. If they come to a town near you, I recommend you to go and see them next time!
If you want to know more about Hanshotfirst, click the links below to find out!
Twitter: https://twitter.com/HanshotfirstUK @HanshotfirstUK