This is not a drill! I repeat, this is not a drill! After 9 (NINE!) Years of waiting the review I never thought I'd live to write is here.
Firstly, I think we need to mention that some of you may believe this review is going to be a little biased based on the fact that since receiving the very first Pray For Hayden EP we have gone on to forge a strong friendship with the members and past members of the band.
We have toured together, they have played countless shows for us and we absolutely love the band unconditionally.
HOWEVER we have been made to wait NINE years for this release and we will be very critical and honest in our thoughts.
Firstly, WHY has it taken this long?! Secondly, will it take this long to get a third instalment?! And thirdly...seriously, WHY NINE YEARS?!.
Anyway, on to the music...
COUNT OF THREE
So, we are immidiately eased into the EP with a gradually building track which is almost reminiscent of old school gaming console loading music.
It suddenly erupts and enters that classic Pray For Hayden sound that we have grown to love over the years. The track is explosive, energetic and immidiately shows what NINE F***ING years of working on material can achieve! A massive little opener that takes you by the hand and tells you, we are going to do this together, we are going to go through this emotional journey together, after NINE years of waiting.
Now..We are in familiar territority here, Explorers was released a short while back as a teaser to this EP and makes sense to lead the way on the EP, giving us a feeling of familiarity and yet still leaving us needing fresh music.
Pray For Hayden are very difficult to compare to other bands, they aren't exactly pop punk, they're arcade pop? Retro pop? Who knows, all we know is that they are fucking brilliant at what they do and every song sounds so powerful and engaging.
DANCE LIKE YOU MEAN IT
NEW MUSIC!!!! The first full new track on the EP and holy shit, again it is so difficult to compare this band to anyone, the tracks belong in the 80's, they belong in sci-fi movies, feel good movies, blockbusters, they are massive and Dance Like You Mean It would not sound out of place with a movie montage playing over it.
A homage to retro gaming is apparent throughout the EP, the backing track heavily influenced by arcade sounds, the artwork displaying an old arcade game and the promo shots all taken inside an arcade, so maybe Arcade Pop is the right genre?
Big Trouble shows no signs of the EP slowing down, it's explosive, it's fast paced and it's catchy as hell.
Promises was released most recently as a stand alone single to ease the EP on us, so again we are in familiar territority here.
Listening to Promises in the context of the full EP gives it a new, fresh lease of life though. It sparks new life into it as the EP flows so beautifully together, I feel Promises also pays homage to the debut EP Chances as it is very similar, more so than the other tracks anyway, to that EP.
I guess it shows that Pray For Hayden have stuck to their guns over the years and have just really refined their own sound though.
THE BOYS OF SUMMER
Well, firstly, it's fucking better than The Ataris and look what that cover did for them!
Hopefully this won't define this EP because there are far better original tracks on here and the lads deserve so much more credit than just being a band that does a cover.
A nice little addition though, it shows the bands style in a familiar environment with a song most of us know. And it sticks to the arcade/gaming theme...because of the whole Ataris thing.
Back to the good stuff. There isn't an awful lot left to say at this point I don't think.
Pray For Hayden have absolutely smashed this EP, it has been well worth the wait and it has been a real pleasure and honour to watch them grow as a band over the years.
Chances was the very first EP we were sent as an official press release as a small media outlet and sparked this amazing journey for us.
We consider Pray For Hayden our family, friends and brothers and we could not be any prouder of them for this magnificent piece of work that they have worked so hard on.
Thank you for taking a chance on us, boys.
Riff Final Rating:🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥
Perfection, moving forward with their own sound and doing things their own way. Let's not leave it NINE FUCKING YEARS for the next one, or you'll never hear the end of it from us!
Pray For Hayden are: from L - R
BEN STUART-BROWN DRUMS/PROGRAMMING/SYNTHS
Special mention to former bassist Mark Whittaker (not pictured) who was bassist during the recording of this EP.
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