It’s been a little over a year since We Hate JH‘s ‘The Naive Kids‘ album, and since then they only released a single in May before dropping ‘Divert.’ If you don’t know We Hate JH, it’s a cross between acoustic rock and emo pop, which is kind of a weird combination, but gives the band an unique signature. Originally with only a single member, We Hate JH have expanded to the full band seen throughout releases and fully realized on ‘The Naive Kids.’ Their latest, ‘Divert,’ feels like both a step forward and a continuation of ‘The Naive Kids.’
“Cinema” is a pop rock song that brings back a lot of the classic We Hate JH style. The guitar is acoustic, complete with a full and clean sound, and the backing instruments follow this trend to the fullest. Even the drums fit each melody without becoming overbearing or drowning out the other instruments. “Cinema” features the best elements of the band with off-beat rhythms, fast tempos, and intricate guitar picking. If you never heard We Hate JH before, this is the best introduction song because you know exactly what the band is about.
The lead single, “Asphalt,” is interesting because if We Hate JH added some distortion to the lead guitar, it would be a straight rock song. The bass and rhythm guitar are electric, but don’t ever flood the song with harsh tones. Each note is purposely clean to highlight the melody.
It must take a lot of restraint on the band’s part to not simply jump 100% into more standard electronic rock, as it would give We Hate JH’s music a bit of an edge and bite, but songs on ‘Divert’ are smooth and highly melodic even though the tempos are quick. “Reserved Moon” is a good companion to “Asphalt,” as it mimics the tempo but layers polyrhythms through each of the instruments. Listening to each line, it’s impressive that the song continues to sound cohesive even though there’s a controlled panic in some of the verses. ‘Divert’ concludes with “Drift,” which reminds the listener that each of the songs does a good job of connecting to the title of the album because the four songs feel like a journey.
We Hate JH are able to present four songs that sound a lot more connected than what other bands are able to do with full albums. There’s a definite story on ‘Divert,’ and it’s heard through the music clearly. Even with a play length of less than fifteen minutes, the polish and presentation of ‘Divert’ is remarkable. The band has grown tremendously over the years, and they deserve to be noticed by a lot more people.