Sunday, January 28, 2018

Hangtime - Invictus Melodius (2017) - A brief review

Will wonders never cease?  Toronto denizens Hangtime slipped off my radar entirely since they dropped their debut Plug In, way back in the 2010.  That record impressed my punk-pop sensibilities aplenty, signaling the band's (and my) mutual affection for the likes of the Doughboys and All.  In fact, it's a love affair that stated for them in the mid-90s via their predecesor band who I've also featured on these pages, Shortfall.  The front-man contingent of Hangtime features Shortfall alum Warren Gregson and Rock Burns, carrying over from Plug In.  And speaking of things carrying over to their belated follow-up, Invictus Melodious (loosely translated from Latin to: melodically invincible) the same spirit and verve is largely intact, despite the seven year layover.

Their aptitude not only reflects the comparisons I rattled off above, but to a certain extent the stable of powerful yet tuneful combos that graced the rosters of such renown labels as Epitaph and Fat, specifically those active during the Clinton-era.  Hangtime don't go out of their way to reinvent the wheel, but they very well may have tweaked a spoke or three on the roiling opener "Let It Be," sounding like the best thing Goo Goo Dolls haven't churned out in a good twenty-years.  It's an intimidating act to follow, and often, Invictus... doesn't really feel like it's heated up to full boil until mid-album, but once addictive slammers like "Trust In Me" and "Alone" careen into your ear canal there's no going back.  They even save the best for last on the concluding "Lost," which I'm willing to declare as their finest three-and-a-half minute salvo to date.

Invictus Melodious is yours to have, hold and listen to over at Hangtime's Bandcamp outpost where a physical CD is available in addition to download, plus you have your usual digital vendors iTunes and Amazon

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