New Jersey’s Hundreds of AU deliver ferocious screamo chaos with the directness of an awesome hardcore band on their new album Mission Priorities on Launch. Despite the otherworldly title, the album lyrically and musically focuses squarely on the human aspects of that “mission,” walking listeners through a musical assessment of our modern day emotional meltdown as a species. Not just lyrically but sonically and feel-wise too, the music tells the poignant story of an individual suffering through the weight of lunges from oppressive authorities for control of their life — the tension of a struggle to remain on top gets expressed remarkably powerfully and memorably here. The musical chaos and real-world tension that reflects get a human touch, and as the band crash into their final refrain of “I am the end result!” really stunningly constructive, identity-asserting power rolls out.
For someone broadly familiar with the kind of music this band plays, their songs could prove remarkably accessible, really. They have zeroed in on utilizing their vicious, meaty riffs through a super solid songwriting skeleton. They poignantly build up into their most chaotic portions over and over again, letting each side of these builds land with that much more focus. You can really feel the tension in your bones; it’s palpable thanks to the awesomely direct ferocity that this band employ, even while rolling their music out with a clear precision. Their songwriting “skeleton” quickly ends up rattling maniacally — there’s not a lot of “peace” here per se as the band embark on their wild journey.
Although they’re accessible for the underground heavy music fan on a basic level, Hundreds of AU’s unique coloring offered in this framework proves remarkably powerful. From their blistering chaos to the slower builds that repeatedly emerge like on the last track although never for super long, the elements they work with get elevated and so does the listener. Where other post-hardcore chaos might be a little harder to grasp, this band’s thick sound on Mission Priorities on Launch is right there in your face, demanding you to emotionally and socially look around with an exhilarating thrill. Even in the midst of some chaos, there’s personal power to be had.
Listen to some below