Close, but no cigar. Oh, ‘Let Go’ is awesome, really it is, but it never threatens to top Hundredth’s stunning debut. It’s not that the ingredients are all that different from before- the South Carolina outfit still use shifting rhythms, technical riffs and positive lyrical messages to get their melodic hardcore point across- but this is a record that feels unfinished, just a little rushed, perhaps even written while the band were on the road. It means the tracks tend to blend together more than those on ‘When Will We Surrender’, and although the production is bigger than the band have had before, the whole thing feels weirdly flat at times.

It’s to their extra credit then that without moving forward much, Hundredth have still sourced some solid gold here. First track proper ‘Weathered Town’, earnest and emotional but full of energy too, typifies what set the band apart from the pack in the first place, ‘Remain & Sustain’ uses extra pace and more melody to stand out, and ‘Restless’, which manages to sound like Misery Signals and Muse, is the goddamn jam.

Expect ‘Let Go’ to sound better the more you hear it (Hundredth retain their uncanny ability to write songs that worm their way into your brain over multiple listens) but never expect it to replace ‘When Will We Surrender’ on your regular rotation. However, while the lyrics and song titles suggest the band are in no need of extra resolve, they can take heart in two things. They aren’t the only folks to find the second album a difficult nut to crack, and there’s more than enough here to suggest number three will be a thriller.

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