Experiencing the evolution of a band can be one of the most exciting, rewarding experiences you can have as a listener. The metamorphosis that took Bring Me The Horizon from scratchy deathcore oiks to festival-crushing heavy-poppers was something to behold, and such a shift has taken place for former core-ians Hundredth. Their new Ultrarare EP takes the lion’s share of its predecessor Rare’s tracks and passes them through a softer filter, touted by the band as being a natural evolution of their sound.
This is fair. Previous works Free and Rare weren’t short of the death rock and shoegaze elements expounded on with this new record. Those hankering for the rasping crow of “When Will We Surrender” or “Let Go” won’t find a great deal here to cling to; Hundredth’s days of roaring are firmly behind them.
Watch the “Neurotic” visualiser if you’re feeling, well, neurotic.
That said, this doesn’t feel like a cynical move in any way - viewing those early works retrospectively, the band seem infinitely more contented in their new skin than on previous recordings. The moments of softness only hinted at on prior tracks like “Willows” comprise the greater part of Ultrarare, which has much more in common with Depeche Mode than Bane.
Their previous releases seem like groundwork in hindsight, and one of the most surprising aspects of this shift is how close the new imaginings of these songs are to the source material, like gentle cousins. Though it’s unlikely anyone who has come this far with the band will be taken aback by this tangential direction, it’s still magnificent to see a band break with their past so boldly. If you had any interest in Hundredth, take this journey with them – it could lead anywhere.