By: Ben Watson

Hungover is a pop-rock band from the Florida scene that formed in 2013. Consisting of Marc Cortes (Vocals/Guitar), Sean Connors (Guitar), and Gabe Santiago (Drums), the trio released their debut EP (Extended Play), “WILT”, in March of 2018. Since then, Hungover has gone through a wild ride before finally reaching this point in their career. Now after almost six years since the debut of “WILT” the band enters their W.I.T.H.E.R. era with their debut LP (Long Play) “When It Touches The Heart Everything Resolves”. 

Track 01: “Candy Flip”

The intro track works well as an introduction to this new era of Hungover as it starts with a trippy-sounding vocal before being met with some classic pop-punk guitar and drums that lead into one of the catchiest hooks on the album. All of that is followed up by a killer guitar solo played by Sean Connors in the bridge of the song. At times the vocals get a little lost behind the guitars and drums. In this track, you can hear the influence of the member’s past lives in other bands combined with the sound they developed on WILT giving a sense that the band knows where they came from which makes the next track a great follow-up.

Track 02: “Think Straight”

The follow-up song “Think Straight” is a big neon sign pointing the band in a new direction as they move beyond their past and bring in this new indie rock sound that I am all for. The rhythm-led track is one of my favorites on the album. The vocals are clear and nothing gets lost in the mix. These first two tracks combined allow the listener to get a good sense of what the W.I.T.H.E.R. era is all about. 

Track 03: “Out of Body”

The third single to come out in preparation for the album, “Out of Body”, revisits elements of the two tracks on the album before it. It plays into the trippy feel of the intro to “Candy Flip” and brings back some of the pop-punk feels, but it is combined with an explosive chorus and a powerful bridge like what is found on “Think Straight”. This track is the embodiment of the album as it is full of nostalgia with a sense of looking into the future.

Track 04: “Reunion”

“Reunion” was the first song the band had released since the release of the standalone single “Fright Night” back in October 2019; so “Reunion” is just that: a reunion of the band and its fans. The song teaches a lesson about growing up as it talks about old friends reuniting and reminiscing the great times they had when they were younger, but knowing that no matter where they are in life, they will always have a love for each other that keeps their bond strong. As a college kid, this is a song that hits true to home because I (and I am sure my peers around me can agree to this) go about each day hoping that I am building those bonds with the people around me now.

Track 05: “Shake It Off”

For any Swifties reading this; no, this is not a cover of the similarly titled Taylor Swift song. Instead this “Shake It Off” is about working together to get through a rough time instead of quitting when things get tough. The vocals once again get a little lost behind the guitar and drums, mainly in the bridge of the song. However, other than that, this is a pop-rock anthem with another incredibly catchy hook including powerful guitar and drums that drive the song.

Track 06: “Hard To Tell”

The last track on the “A-side” of the album, “Hard To Tell”, is a beautiful acoustic track that covers the topic of a toxic relationship from the past that clouds the writer’s mind and stops them from seeing all the progress they’ve made for themselves. By the second verse, the writer realizes it is a toxic relationship that both parties would be better off without. This song makes for a great break from the guitar-driven energy of the songs before it without losing the passion put into the songs before it and makes for a great closer to the “A-side”. 

Track 07: “Kayfabe”

“Kayfabe” kicks off the “B-side” with a more classic pop-punk-sounding track with a hint of pop-rock thrown into the mix. The guitar-driven energy picks back up and Marc Cortes really taps into his talents as a singer with this one showing the listener the wide range his voice can hit. Overall this track will take you back to 2007 with its Kelly Clarkson-esk pop vocal melodies and its Boys Like Girls-esk driving pop-punk guitar.

Track 08: “Slow Emotion”

A seamless transition leads into another great pop-rock anthem in “Slow Emotion”. The song starts off leaning heavily to the pop side of things before Sean Connors turns the guitar up to 11 for an explosive chorus. The track is slower compared to most of the songs before it, but the amount of power pumped into it helps keep the song moving and flowing smoothly.

(Favorite)Track 09: “Bad Things”

Another seamless transition brings us to one of my top tracks on the album. Pop power, Rock energy, and pure passion all go into helping make this one of the strongest tracks on the whole album. The earworm vocal melody in the chorus will be stuck in your head for days. The production by Sean Dolich is some of the best on the album. Sean Connors’ guitar drives the song, but Gabe Santiago’s work on drums really brings the whole song together making it the masterpiece that it is.

Track 10: “Voodoo”

“Voodoo” combines the indie-rock of “Think Straight” with some power-pop making for a good energetic song to drive to. The breakdown in the bridge is a powerful guitar-driven moment that sets up the slowed ending to the song well. It’s hard to follow up a track like “Bad Things” but as a standalone track, it’s a great song.

Track 11: “Vanishing Act”

Hungover closes the album with a powerful pop-rock ballad in “Vanishing Act”. Marc Cortes gives another great vocal performance as he sings about a relationship that refuses to talk through its problems and instead disappears when problems appear. Ending with such a powerful pop-rock ballad is the perfect way to bring Hungover’s W.I.T.H.E.R. era to a close.

When It Touches The Heart Everything Resolves is an album that was years in the making. The band does a great job at showing how they have evolved not only as musicians but as people over the years. This album is about growing up, breaking down, and getting back up stronger. The album is full of nostalgia mixed with a sense of looking into the future. It is full of passion and energy. Some songs are stronger than others, but overall there is nothing that I truly hate or dislike. My only problem with the album is the fact that you lose parts of the vocals behind the drums and guitars at times. Other than that W.I.T.H.E.R. is a great album and truly a step into the future for Hungover as they combine elements of their pop-punk past with pop-rock, power pop, and indie rock. I would recommend this album to fans of Neck Deep, Hot Mulligan, and blink-182. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *