2006 Panic Records
1. Leap Year
2. El Dorado Hills Rd.
4. A Clean, Well-Lighted Place
5. I Can't Even Understand What You're Saying
6. To Proceed...
8. New Orleans Wasn't Built In A Day MP3
by Rob McFeters
By now, there are only so many ways you can talk about newer hardcore bands, especially since hardcore hasn't really been a beacon for innovation. But that's not news to anyone with half a brain, so I try to approach hardcore albums as much of an open mind as I can. Therefore, I had to spin this album by Count the Hours a few extra times, because I was getting hung up on the influences and blatant rip-offs.
This group from Bremerton, WA has assembled an album that barely has an identity of its own, but isn't completely unoriginal. The first sound jumped out at me and I said to myself, "Wow that sounds like a crappy American Nightmare." This influence runs through the entire length of We Don't Care, but it is not the primary element. The main sound Count the Hours has created is energetic, desperate sounding hardcore. I also notice a big influence from Modern Life Is War, especially in chord patterns over slower tempos as well an influence on lyrics and vocal patterns. These guys mix things up fairly well. The songs don't all follow the exact formula, so it's apparent they put forth effort in the songwriting department. The more I listened to this album, the more I'm appreciating this fact, because these songs are quite dynamic. Count the Hours also add more melody to their songs than the bands that have influenced them.
If you are interested in reading lyrics, you won't really find anything particularly original, though the lyrics are well-written structured adequately around songs that don't follow a verse-chorus formula. The overall production of We Don't Care is fine. No instrument is too far out front, nor buried too low in the mix. Actually, it's very neutral production, with nothing sounding too dirty or too polished; I like it.
Bottom Line: This is a good hardcore album, but it's not out of this world. Count the Hours needs to find more of an original personality to really push through and make a mark on hardcore. These guys seem to have some good ideas, and they capitalize on them at points, but not often enough. Still, this a good start. I would definitely recommend this to you if you have a strong affinity for American Nightmare and Modern Life Is War.