Our Waking Hour – Seconds to Save Her
Our Waking Hour is:
Vocals – Blaine Beckman
Drums – Aaron Harvey
Guitars/vocals – Erik Seime
Bass – Joey Villefranca
Too often, many modern hard rock and metal bands just use sheer, pointless anger and screaming as their main focal point through their music. It’s good that there are still new rock bands that preserve real moral fiber and emotion balanced with a sound brimming with adrenaline and energy.
San Antonio rockers, Our Waking Hour, is one such example of an alternative/hard rock band that doesn’t need to conform to a “scream blindly and angrily at the world” kind of mentality with their music. Their message, as portrayed in many songs on Seconds to Save Her, is one of inspiration and hope. Furthermore, it is delivered in a way that is pulse-pounding, cutting edge, and thought provoking.
The album starts off with a short “Intro” that begins with eerie chimes before gradually picking up pace to segway into the first actual song of the album, “Seconds to Save Her”. This song got me hooked on the dazzling and emotional sound that Our Waking Hour weaves throughout the rest of the album. They achieve this sound by blending energetic drumming and guitar vibes, sprinkled on with just the right amount of dramatic emotion and rich vocals. From this track, I found that Our Waking Hour’s overall sound was most reminiscent of the band Red. However, they do have their own original sound that, in some ways, has a more soul-searching aura about it.
The next tune, “Addiction Of You”, has a pace that is slower compared to the previous song, but with a wider range of vocals thrown into the mix. The song’s lyrics aptly represent the title, referring to an attraction that is so deep that it is like an addiction. This song also maintains cohesive instrumentals that flow well with the emotion of Blaine Beckman’s heartening vocals.
“Too Late For Sorry” picks up the pace with a little more energy from the pulsating opening riffs. This is easily one of my favorite songs on the album due to how satisfying the chorus is. The song manages to somehow strike such a good balance between instilling sorrow and regret, but doing so in a way that cuts to the bone. Putting true emotion and reconciliation together with jarring, powerful instrumentals can be difficult, but Our Waking Hour seems to revel in that unique sound.
“Castles Fall”, was different from the other songs that preceded it. It starts off heavier and rougher around the edges, but then slows down in the choruses. Although I praise the song for its clever lyrics, choruses, and shifting sounds, I didn’t like the overall song as much as the previous ones because I felt that it lacked the sheer emotion portrayed in some of the other tracks.
“Break Me Down” and “The Secret” continue to up the ante in terms of pace. I found the energetic guitar and drum instrumentals in these songs to be satisfying and Beckman’s vocals to be more versatile in the former, incorporating everything ranging from screams to softer vocals. Either way, these songs continue to show that Our Waking Hour is capable of many different sounds; they’re anything but generic.
“Last Song For You” was my second favorite song on the album because of the raw power and emotion within it. Though the song slows down into a more melodic pace, it doesn’t fall short on the rich ingredients that the band uses in the rest of the album. The song builds up to a stronger pace with Beckman’s beautiful vocals that seem to both inspire me with hope and send chills running up my spine simultaneously. The latter part of the song then launches into a slightly faster pace including a satisfying guitar solo. Since the band’s message centers around inspiring people through their music, I think that “Last Song For You” is an apt tribute because of its delicate melodies.
“Curtain Call” is easily my favorite song on the album, and is definitely the wisest choice for the album’s first single. The overall sound is a bit familiar and approachable, but it becomes a unique song all on its own due to how fantastic and adrenaline-pumping its chorus (and the whole song) is. The song, as evidenced by the lyrics, is partially political due to its references to war and politicians. This seems to make it even more emotional due to its reflection of reality. The instrumentals flow perfectly in tune throughout the song, and combined with the unfaltering vocals and clever lyrics, make this song a timeless landmark for this band’s career.
“Lost In Transition” is darker and heavier — particularly in the chorus. I have particular appreciation for Aaron Harvey’s drumming in this song and how his thumping, yet fast-paced beat, flows well with the darker, elemental sound of this song. “On Your Own” is a sorrowful song that has an equally thumping and emotional beat. However, I feel that the lyrics for this song are lacking a bit when compared to some of the other songs. Still though, the song’s slower, sadder flow fits well with the album’s overall emotional integrity.
“Goodnight Misery” is one of the most unique songs on the album due to the notable and effective addition of female vocals to go along with Beckman’s. These, along with the tandem of eerie church bells and overall gothic sounds, make this killer song among my favorites on the album as well. I like the parallel between the male and female vocals in their duet.
“Tragedy & Romance” is the final full song (besides an “Outro” track) on the album. It is a good way to end off the already-stellar album — gripping and emotional. Like much of the rest of the album, the song seems to focus on hope that love will survive, and hope that you can rectify your mistakes and change. These inspirational messages are part of what gives Our Waking Hour so much power in their music.
Overall, Seconds to Save Her is a very powerful album, and is one of my recent favorites. The album can be appreciated by both avid hard rock fans as well as others looking for a more easy-going sound. Our Waking Hour creates great sounds and invokes gripping emotions throughout the whole album that begs us to question and think about our own lives.
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