Cincinnati band HereComeHere can't be pinned down to any one genre. Setting forth a unique sound into the world that is a super cool blend of rock, alt rock, and pop, they beat out over 80 other groups in their hometown's Madison Theater Band Challenge in 2015 and also headlined the America's next stage WEBN Fireworks, where over 500,000 people were in attendance that year. The quartet, which comprises Tom Bodner (Lead Vocals/Guitar), Josh Smith (Lead Guitar), Bryce Hogland (Vocals/Bass Guitar), and Tyler Abbatiello (Percussion/Drums), has received both local and national radio play and just released their sophomore effort titled Chernobyl this weekend.
A 15-track collection of songs that run the gamut of emotions and cover a wide range of topics, Chernobyl is a concept album that brilliantly demonstrates the way HereComeHere bends those genre lines. It's "a record that's meant to be listened to in its entirety from beginning to end," the band says of Chernobyl. "The album tells a story, filled with passion, destruction, resurrection, love, death, and every aspect in between," Hogland explained. "Everyone knows the word Chernobyl, even if they don't know the story of the disaster at Prypyat the word itself still resonates with them. That's the motif that surrounds the album."
Learn more about the album straight from the guys in their track-by-track breakdown below:
"The album begins with a gloomy opener. In this universe created by the album, an apocalypse has already occurred. This track paints a picture of what that is like. Is it just dust and ashes? Is there any hope? Are there any survivors? Originally, we started playing a different song as an introduction to our live sets, similar in mood. We wanted the album to start off in a similar fashion. Quiet at first, then jumping into the rest of the universe."
2. Adjust Your Eyes At the Chameleon
"Oppression comes in all forms. You can't just look at an issue and determine its cause based upon what you see at first. There are different perspectives. And if you're only looking from one, you may not even see the oppression at all."
"When we first played one of the songs off the album ("I Don't Get It") during a live performance, our bassist and second vocalist, Bryce, recited a poem. Surprisingly, the poem itself received lots of praise. This helped to set the foundation for some of the other interlude tracks on the album, with "Heartless" being the first. The song hums and cracks, as if you're listening on a dusty vinyl, and tells the story of the relationship between a couple, and how one person loved the other, while the other purposely sabotaged themselves because they are incapable of feeling the same compassion. Lyrically, it's probably the most beautiful song on the album."
4. I Don't Get It
"This was the first song we wrote for the album, and it's probably our favorite to play on stage. The overall theme of the song is about how life seems to play a cruel joke on you that everyone else seems to be in on, be it a bad relationship or some other life circumstance. And even after you come out the other side a better, stronger person, you're still shrugging your shoulders and asking 'why?'"
The album typically moves from a heavier song into a quieter one. This song starts off lower in volume, but comes back with a thick, loud reprise of the chorus at the end, warning the listener 'You can't even trust your own eyes.' The double 'R' in the title is intentional, and basically plays off the message of the chorus. Some people may not have even realized there was a second 'R.' Typically Tom sings lead vocals, while Bryce does the rapping/spoken word and harmonies. This song is the first where Bryce actually sings the lead vocals. There are a few other songs on the record where this happens, including 'Shameless,' 'Lights Cameras Action,' and 'Inevitable.'"
Like 'Heartless,' this song is another poem. The music is dark and eerie, and almost feels like the beginning of a horror film. Then the voice kicks in, intensifying the darkness. Imagine being locked in a room, hearing voices on the other side of the walls. Did they put you there? Are they there to rescue you? Or are they trapped as well?"
"Coming out of the darkness comes this track. It draws on the introspection we have about mistakes we have made as an individual. These mistakes live with us day after day; constant reminders and respectively referred to in the song as our 'enemies.' It's a constant struggle between living in the past and moving forward with your life, while learning from what you've done. We named the song 'Nameless' because we did not have a title for it during the recording process. We had some ideas, but nothing really stuck. We kept it titled 'Nameless' simply because the suffix '-less' found its way onto several of the other song titles, so we just left it."
"This song was the first full song of ours that was recorded almost entirely electronically. This song also uses poetry to tell the story, but differently than 'Heartless' or 'Rooms.' It still has the format of a song. Verse, chorus, verse, chorus. The music will remind listeners of groups like Puscifer, Depeche Mode, and Phantogram."
"This song is definitely the happiest song on the album. It's basically a shoulder for the listener to lean on. Everyone has their demons and has been pushed to the limit before. This song urges you not to take that final step out the window. It's also different stylistically from most of the other songs on the album, it's got some bluesy influence thrown in there."
"This instrumental might take the listener a little off-guard at first. Sampling old-timey radio plays immerges this hip-hop instrumental. The characters in the play are talking about a lion that has escaped. The lion, however, has no teeth. It's virtually harmless. But yet is causing such a chaos amongst the people. Hopefully, the lion will remind our fans about our previous release, 'Lionhead EP.'"
11. Lights Cameras Action
"This track is all libido. It is not about porn, as the title may suggest, but is about performing in the bedroom (*wink*). The vocals are scratchy, longing to reach those loud high notes, while the guitar tone is brittle and spacey."
"This song is a little different than the rest of the album because it's a bit more lighthearted. It's not a parody, but rather an homage to 2000's rap-rock groups, spouting off about how they're the coolest, dopest, toughest guys out there. We all sang along in our bedrooms to those tunes, believing the lyrics were true. Now we look back on those groups and those songs and laugh at how silly the content was. But those songs made us who we are today: scared human beings, pretending we can take anything thrown our way. Maybe if we lie to ourselves enough, it will become true."
13. Decay & Delay
"Everyone has experienced some form of anxiety, or similar mental disability in their life. Breaking out of your comfort zone is extremely hard and irritating. Feeling isolated just increases the symptoms. Sometimes it's also a cure. Hair of the dog that bit you sort of thing. We know that social interactions can be tiresome and cause all sorts of negative emotions. But in order to get past these feelings, you really do have to put yourself out there; show your vulnerable side. The anxiety will never disappear, but it will get easier to manage. I think it's safe to say that every member of this band has some sort of mental struggle that we are trying to overcome on a daily basis."
"Shifting from the previous song, which is overall hopeful, this song is the crippling reality of anxiety. You have been carrying this weight around for so long that you've just become paralyzed. And referencing the previous track 'Rooms,' the ceiling to your prison is coming down on you. With your dying breath, stand tall, be strong, and 'Sing it like the chorus to your favorite song.'"
"The final track of the album mashes up the pretty and the ugly. The guitar has both this clean, lovely tone, while also having this psychedelic, eerie modulation behind it. It sums up the album perfectly, saturating the good and the bad together into a melancholic ballad. We started from dust, and now we're back to dust. The universe created by this album just repeats itself over and over...Which in reality, in our actual physical existence, means...play the album again."
Chernobyl follows HereComeHere's two EPs and debut full-length album Pants Were A Bad Idea. Get it now on all major digital music platforms, or order a physical copy via Bandcamp here.
HereComeHere took over Musical Notes Global's Instagram account on Saturday for their album release show at Madison Live in Covington, Kentucky. Check out their posts @mngblog and be sure to follow the band on social media: