From: WA, United States
Genre: Rock, Pop, Rap
Everybody misses the golden music era of the 90s, and that's where Striking Back has drawn inspiration. For their sophomore effort, The Heartbreaker EP, they took it a step further than pop rock—and wrote with some very talented rappers.
The seeds were planted in 2009—as Seattle MCs Hyphen8d and Parker Joe stayed with front man Jordan Thompson during the entire recording process of his freshman effort, The Restless EP—helmed by mega producer Jim Wirt (Incubus, Jack’s Mannequin). "When I left Santa Monica, we had captured a 90s vibe with cool twists in songs like Dark Day Afternoon,” says Thompson. “It was a life-changing experience recording with Jim—we all learned so much from him.”
The new record continues to capture that 90s vibe. "I think the sound is immediately accessible,” Hyphen8d comments. “Even if someone isn't a 'rock person' or a 'rap person', they can appreciate the blend. The earnestness of the content and lyrics, the solid music--it’s all there."
Rappers aside, another huge partnership which made the new sound possible was the addition of Jeff Lund on the piano. "I didn't expect to be writing immediately," says Lund, "but we wrote every new song with the piano. I discovered all this creative ability inside me—and I was in really good company.”
This time around, the band headed to Hollywood to record with Jeff Hannan at MidCity Sound—Thompson in the executive producer role.
The opening track, Beautifully, is an upbeat song that takes a hopeful outlook. “It’s about passionately seizing moments before they pass you by,” says Parker. A song that reminds people, “You only live once.”
The second song, Heartbreaker, is a ballad inspired by Thompson’s painful divorce in 2011. “It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever gone through,” Thompson comments. “Worse than a death. We loved each other so much, but it fell apart anyway.”
The third track, Wrong One, is a more aggressive piece about realizing when a relationship is poisonous. “I composed all the music to this one,” says Lund. “When we brought it in for lyric writing, Parker developed the theme. It rocks harder—good way to revitalize after a toxic encounter.”
The final track, Predictable, is an introspective song about abandonment and disappointment. “It’s a snap shot of the pain of love and relationships,” comments Hyphen8d. “Anyone can relate because humans are fallible. We disappoint each other, we hurt each other--but that hurt is because of love.”