Review of Dulce By Heart to Heart (3.5 of 5 stars)
Heart to Heart recently released their album Dulce on Pure Noise Records and has delivered what they promised, a heavier sound while still in keeping with their pop punk roots. Heart to Heart hails from Prismo Beach, CA and has been working hard to build a solid fanbase and name for themselves since they formed in 2009. The group has been on the road for the majority of the five years because they firmly believe in the importance of good live performances. Their focus on live shows does not distract them however from understanding and being attentive to the need for heartfelt and relatable lyrics. The group has always been dedicated to creating meaningful lyrics and this has remained a constant on their new record Dulce.
Heart to Heart introduces their heavier sound from the very start of the record with the song “A.M.F.” which certainly contains a great deal of unclean vocals with clean vocals scattered throughout the song. The clean vocals are a bit more precise and smooth than the unclean vocals, which lack the fine tuning finesse that come with more experience. For a first attempt at a heavier sound they did not to a bad job but there is most certainly room for growth. The clean vocals however do showcase the skills of frontman Nick Zoppo. Heart to Heart once again covered a sensitive topic and expressed the angst and emotion of a loved one walking out the door perfectly with vocals (clean and unclean) and the music behind it.
After the first track the group seemed to settle into a better flow and a sound that was more reminiscent of past works. The clean and unclean vocals seemed to blend better with one another and more naturally with the music. They also seemed to be unforced and more relaxed.
“Hellbound” has the classic pop punk feel to it in the lyrics and the music but with a bit of an edge in the vocals with less smooth sounds on angrier words. Zoppo sings of letting go of someone because they were not who they appeared to be. This is extremely relatable because at some point or another most people have felt the anger behind a fake relationship, whether it be romantic or a friendship, and no one likes a fake person. The unclean vocals in this song are more naturally done and fit with the sound of the group better. “Dulce” the title track for the album showcases skilled guitar work that make the transition between clean and unclean vocals sound smooth and effortless. The balance between unclean and clean vocals was much better on this track with a fair mixture of both. The unclean vocals in this song also flowed more smoothly than in many other tracks on the record and should be what the group strives for if they choose to continue down a heavier path with sound.
Overall Dulce was a good record for Heart to Heart especially considering a transition into a heavier sound blended with the pop punk sound they have crafted successfully throughout the past few years. They are a group that really focuses on live performances so it will be quite interesting to see how the new songs are incorporated into setlists on Warped Tour (go check them out June 13-July 13) and on future tours. The group was named one of AP Magazine’s Top 100 bands to know in 2014 for a good reason; they understands the power music can have and the importance of good live performances. It will be great to see what is in store for the future of Heart to Heart!