Review: Hundreds of AU – Mission Priorities on Launch (Middle-Man, Jul 15)

The avalanche of emotional hardcore assaults that comprises Mission Priorities on Launch brings a new meaning to the phrase “wall of sound.” The album’s production places all elements of the New Jersey quartet’s music on equal footing, wrapping the gorgeous guitar harmonies, pained screams, and propulsive drumming in a single, perfectly muddy package. There’s no way Hundreds of AU’s masterful balance of eviscerating emoviolence and impassioned, melodic crescendos could be better communicated; transitions that may have been jarring otherwise, like the progression from the ecstatic anthem climax of “Thruway” into the much harsher “No Sweet Home,” are made to sound natural and cohesive. Mission Priorities on Launch is a short album, clocking in at around 23 minutes, but the extended stretches of third wave post-rock-esque dynamic build-ups don’t feel like they slow anything down—mostly because the things they build to are absolutely stunning. “The End Result” is a very fitting title for a song with one of the most exhilarating payoffs I’ve heard in this sort of music in a long time.

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