EP Review: Tightrope by Hasty Page

Hasty Page released their newest record Friday, a five-song EP titled Tightrope, which the band has said will be their final installment. After having the chance to sit down and chat with the group back in February, I decided to do a deep dive into the new album to commemorate the group’s ride off into the sunset. 

Hasty Page. Zane Agnew, Josh Morris, and James Paolano (left to right).

All the music on the record is written, produced, and engineered by Hasty Page, which is composed of Josh Morris (drums/lead vocals), Zane Agnew (guitar/vocals), and James Paolano (bass/vocals). It was recorded at Left Hand Studios, with mixing and mastering by Scoops Dardaris. 

The album begins with a song called “The Wire”, which was released as a single on June 25th, 2021. This tune is an incredibly strong start for the record, as the listener is treated right away to a pairing of smooth guitar lines, rich tones, and tight rhythms that build a lush and scintillating atmosphere. The melody is fun and catchy to the point that you’ll find yourself singing along after only a couple of plays. The lyrics are well written, and the vocals particularly in the choruses are quite compelling. 

The next song on the EP is titled “No. 1”. Tender and authentic, “No. 1” takes on a soulful feel. The band showcases their songwriting talent with this one, with several varied sections that are all interesting and flawlessly transition from part to part. The singing ranges from powerful belting all the way down to low, quiet, and conversational. Meanwhile the drums, bass, and guitar maintain a nice rhythmic pulse that will leave your head steadily bobbing along.

Following up “No. 1” is the third song, “Limerence”. I found this one to be the most unique on the album, and one that is a special standout among the whole Hasty Page discography. The song begins with a guitar line that I think would best be described as mysterious and borderline spooky. Out of nowhere, that vibe gets slammed like a flying elbow from the top rope when a heavy riff and slamming drums come crashing in. The middle of this song features vigorous vocals that passionately tell a tale of limerence, which Dictionary.com defines as “the state of being obsessively infatuated with someone, usually accompanied by delusions of, or a desire for an intense romantic relationship with that person.” The song comes to a goosebumps-inducing end with the return of the eerie guitar line.  

Up next is a tune called “Food for Thought”. This fourth track is the funkiest tune on the EP. This song has attitude, with a very scrappy and sassy spirit to it. The guitar features a slightly more fuzzy tone, with some great bluesy notes that could certainly cause some glorious stank faces. The drums and bass in this song are in lockstep together, with not one single beat or bop anywhere that it shouldn’t be. The tune rocks right along to the very end, spiraling into a raucous and chaotic crescendo. 

The final song on Tightrope is a song called “Gimme a Break”. It’s the longest track on the record, accounting for 6 minutes and 21 seconds of the 21 minute and 48-second album. As for the composition, this song really has it all. With its ethereal guitar runs, crispy rhythms, and sweet melodies, “Gimme a Break” provides a warm experience like floating in the clouds during a comforting dream. The feeling that you have at the end of this song is that smile and satisfied exhale that occurs after closing a wonderful book, which is beautifully fitting as the Hasty Page chapter of music comes to a close. 

Back side of Tightrope’s album art.

To wrap up the record in a tight little bow, in a recent social media post, Josh Morris of Hasty Page had this to say about the release of Tightrope:

“It’ll be our last release for the foreseeable future, but that doesn’t mean all is lost. It’s been almost 8 years since we’ve been making music together and it’s all led up to this. We’re super proud of these songs and we hope you enjoy them. Who knows, maybe there will be more to come. You’ll just have to wait and see. Above all, I’m so grateful for the support from our fans throughout this epic journey. You really made us believe that anything is possible. I hope our music instilled that same amount of faith in you as well. Much love and stay hasty.” 

You can listen to Tightrope on all major platforms, explore Hasty Page’s other releases, and read my interview with the band using the links below. Cheers!  

Hasty Page Linktree 

A Few Minutes With…Hasty Page

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