Hopes Die Last

Trust No One

Written by: AP on 12/09/2012 12:27:25

Right off the bat, when you slip in the new LP by Hopes Die Last, "Trust No One", you might be fooled into thinking that here comes yet another U.S. scene band with few own ideas to contribute. But you would be wrong; Hopes Die Last actually come from the Italian capital Rome. Other than that, however, your first impression is spot on, as the music the album bodes adheres to a fairly standard formula of post-hardcore that fits right into the current Warped Tour bills.

There is nothing wrong with the approach per se, as Hopes Die Last are quick to prove they can play the genre as well as anyone. But the predictable combination of screamed verses with cleanly sung choruses, staccato riffs with powerchords, and energetic bangers with stadium sized anthems rarely inspires any awe anymore - and this is the primary issue with "Trust No One". The opening trio comprising "Never Trust the Hazel Eyed", "Sidney Shown" and "Unleash Hell" is deceptively catchy at first, with bassist Marco Calanca choosing well his vocal melodies and accentuation to produce choruses that are at least temporarily memorable and the remaining musicians, guitarists Marco Mantovani and Luigi Magliocca; and drummer Ivan Panella avoiding excessively blinding displays of technical prowess in order to give the songs immediate impact. But upon closer inspection, the structure and dynamics of these three songs are so contrived they're worthy of a proper cringe.

Ironically, the highlight of the album is its most simplest offering, "Life After Me Life After You", which is just the sort of irresistible pop song that should have everyone singing along once it's aired in a live setting a couple of times; its lyrics are not exactly eloquent, but the message is positive. The worst is the baffling choice of last song, "Keep Your Hands Off", which is a primarily electronic piece featuring resort town DJ Nekso injecting major doses of dubstep and eurodance that, together with the cheesiest thematic material on the album, will doubtless expose the closet ravers and send the rest scrambling for the nearest bar. Everything in between can be characterized by simple variations to the ideas established in the first four songs, from the obligatory pop cover ("Firework" by Katy Perry) and lighter friendly anthem ("The Same Old Fears") to the more traditional post-hardcore takes like "This Song Plays Suicide".

A typically sterile production ensures that technically the album is glitch-free, so you can bet "Trust No One" sounds as clean and professional as any Stateside band's work. But if you're looking for extraordinary individual performances or gifted songwriting, Hopes Die Last will not deliver. It is the kind of album that is likely to earn the Italians a number of solid support slots alongside more established practitioners of post-hardcore, but if they hope to establish themselves as a global force with headlining potential, they need to discover their own sound and use the talent at their disposal to produce genuine standout moments that make the listener gasp for air.


Download: Never Trust the Hazel Eyed, Unleash Hell, Life After Me Life After You
For the fans of: Before Their Eyes, My Ticket Home, Secrets
Listen: Facebook

Release date 13.02.2012
Standby Records

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