HALFLIVES – Empty Rooms
Release Date: 14th April 2017
HALFLIVES are an electronic/alt rock band from Italy and their debut album, Empty Rooms, released in April this year. It is a fantastic mix of pop, synth and rock, and contains some strong layered vocals, catchy beats and fast paced rhythms. Fronted by Linda Battilani, the band also consists of Enrico Bertoni on the guitar and backing vocals, Oscar Scantamburlo on the bass and Fede Bernardi on the drums.
The album starts with the energetic ‘Lone Wolf’ and immediately shows the mix of genres. It’s a solid song with a synth backing, muffled vocals and a stand-out chorus. The layered chorus vocals start off this album strong. The next song, ‘Burn’, has some impressive vocals from Linda in the chorus. It feels more pop-like in the first verse, but when the instrumentals kick in during the chorus, it becomes more rock.
Track 3, ‘Mayday’, doesn’t stand out as much as the first 2, but still has a pretty strong chorus and instrumentals. ‘Echo’ starts out with some pop synths and builds to a calmer but still great chorus. It reminds me of some modern indie/electronic pop bands like Transviolet, and is a good calmer song in the middle of the album.
‘The Sickness’ is fantastic, with a fast-paced chorus that gets the blood pumping! The calmer choruses build up to Linda’s powerful chorus vocals and the whole band’s bad-ass instrumentals, especially the guitar solo towards the end! The next song, ‘Half Alive’, doesn’t disappoint either, with some awesome guitar skills from Enrico throughout the entire song. The instrumental part about 2 minutes in is exceptional.
The eponymous penultimate song, ‘Empty Room’ is similar to the first few songs, with a mix of electronic and real instrumentals and another really strong chorus. The breakdown after the chorus has some electronic pop influences, and it suits the song. The final track, ‘Collide’ is calmer like ‘Echo’, and once again has a powerful chorus with electronic themes and rock instrumentals. It sounds a bit distorted due to the loud volume in the chorus, but the rest is calmer and clearer.
Overall, this is a really solid album, and for a first attempt, shows that HALFLIVES are going to be a band for the future.
Recommended Track: The Sickness