Myrtle Beach, SC’s Hundredth have spent the last few years elementally evolving their sound. The band’s flux from melodic hardcore to aggro shoegaze was signaled on their last LP, 2017’s RARE, which landed a spot on our list of that year’s best albums. (“The guitars are roaring. The hooks are hammering. The melodies are luscious. And the sky is the limit.”)
In the months following the release of RARE, Hundredth frontman Chadwick Johnson explored his even-dreamier influences via solo project Pure Violet. (“In both texture and tone, [these songs] immediately recall some of the best post-punk, dream-pop, and shoegaze bands of the ’80s and ’90s.”)
And the next step in that evolution comes today, as Johnson and Hundredth return with a brand-new song called “Whatever.”
Immediately, “Whatever” feels like a synthesis of Johnson’s two projects, even as it pushes Hundredth further away from the arena-screamo sound on which they made their name. The behemoth guitars of RARE have been moved to the back burner as the song stylistically pulls from the greats of new wave, e.g., the Cure and New Order.
Befitting its influences, the song’s hook is beyond catchy, managing to land with absolute grace in the echo-drenched, reverb-soaked space. Sings Johnson on the chorus: “I just wanna run run away/ I just wanna feel something good today/ I don’t wanna think about anything/ I just wanna be whatever I wanna be.” The sound is shot through with heavy filters and effects, which bend and mute the air in hair-raising ways. Listen.
“Whatever” is out 5/24. Hundredth are playing Governors Ball on Friday, 05/31, at 12:30 PM.