photographer credit: Jesus Martinez
South Carolina’s Hundredth released their critically acclaimed full length, RARE, earlier this year on Hopeless Records, making a dramatic sound change from aggressive hardcore to a dynamic blend of lush shoegaze and driving post-punk. Today, Hundredth have shared RARE B-Sides, “Melancholia” and “Porcelain,” two driving tracks from that recording session. The band will be hitting the road this week to start their full U.S. headlining tour, with support from Gleemer, Tennis System, and Spotlights. See the full itinerary below.
Stream RARE B-Sides via Spotify:
Stream RARE via Spotify
The release of RARE was met with considerable critical acclaim, including a spot on Stereogum’s Best Albums of 2017 So Far list, but the album was a significant risk for Hundredth. The band had developed a large and loyal fanbase across three albums of pummeling metallic hardcore, but when it came time to write a new record they found themselves creatively stifled by the genre’s strict walls and faced with a self-imposed ultimatum: make a drastic change, or end the band. Never ones to shy away from a challenge, Hundredth dove headfirst into exploring the sonic freedom of putting it all on the line. RARE combines the band’s love of ’90s shoegaze and dream pop with post-punk grit and their instinctual heavier side, making a unique sound that pays tribute to the band’s influences and past while boldly redefining their future.
Change is perhaps the biggest challenge a band can face. Everyone loves the out-of-nowhere debut or is impressed when a band avoids the sophomore slump, but when real longevity is achieved musicians often find themselves feeling less and less like the people they were on their early records. For some bands this impending need for change is insurmountable. Hundredth is not one of those bands.
With the release of their third full length, 2015’s vitriolic tour de force, Free, Hundredth had finally accomplished all that they could within the relatively restrictive boundaries of hardcore music. They’d given all they possibly could to the genre and were beginning to feel creatively stifled. Completely disinterested and disenchanted by the constrictive walls of their own sound and scene, Hundredth was faced with a self-imposed ultimatum: evolve or cease to be a band. Never ones to shy away from risk, the band dove headfirst into re-inventing themselves. The result is Hundredth’s fourth full-length RARE — an album that contains very little remnants of what came before but preserves the band’s forward-thinking spirit. These 12 tracks reveal the sound of a fearless band exploring new territory, revitalizing their creativity, and propelling themselves into a thrilling future.
Shedding their past and all of it’s restrictions left Hundredth with the freedom to create the music they’d always wanted. Leaning heavily into their love of shoegaze, dream pop, and post-punk, the band combined lush anglophile influences with their innate heaviness and energy, creating an album that seamlessly ebbs and flows between aggression and beauty. Dense walls of rolling distortion collide with crisp drums or melt into subdued atmospherics, all while vocalist Chadwick Johnson’s reverb-drenched vocals float overtop, more dynamic and cathartic than his past screams. Even Johnson’s lyrics seem to follow more esoteric paths, touching on reclusion and a desire to escape, nodding to the creative and social isolation felt within the band’s now past life.
Some may question Hundredth’s decision to evolve. Why fix what wasn’t broken? Why put everything they’ve built on the line? Why leave behind the sound that got them this far? These kinds of questions quickly become irrelevant when one listens to RARE. Hundredth’s desire to truly follow their own path led to a sound that is all theirs, with RARE standing independently as a distinct melding of influence, instinct, and the desire to push boundaries that’s fueled the band from day one. This isn’t a new band; this is passionate, this is heavy, this is dark, vulnerable, volatile, and beautiful. This is Hundredth.
11/30 Baltimore, MD @ Metro Gallery *
12/01 Brooklyn, NY @ Night Bazaar *
12/02 Philadelphia, PA @ Boot & Saddle *
12/03 Boston, MA @ Once Ballroom *
12/05 Pittsburgh, PA @ The Fun House *
12/06 Lakewood, OH @ Mahalls *
12/07 Lansing, MI @ The Loft *
12/08 Chicago, IL @ Beat Kitchen *
12/10 Denver, CO @ Marquis *
12/12 San Francisco, CA @ Bottom Of The Hill *
12/13 Los Angeles, CA @ Echo *
12/15 San Diego, CA @ Soda Bar *
12/16 Mesa, AZ @ Nile *
12/18 Austin, TX @ Sidewinder *
12/19 Dallas, TX @ Dirty 30 *
12/20 Houston, TX @ Walter’s *
12/22 Birmingham, AL @ Syndicate Lounge *
12/23 Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade *
* w/ Gleemer, Tennis System, Spotlights