I was very impressed with the variety and intensity of Hopeless Youth’s album “Disgust (2014). Here come the Canadians again with this EP.
From the outset, I was bouncing. With a riff to infect your brain, “The Garden” is hard, heavy and mobile. The bass come from underneath, the drums drive it along and the vocalist provides the metalcore anger. “Devil, Walk with Me” isn’t just the album or the title track. It’s an anthem. It’s an interesting track too. It’s packed with punkish energy, step-ups and a lovely, growly bass line. Second time round, I was ready to join with “Devil, Walk with Me”. You get strange looks when you shout that in the street. But that’s what it makes you do.
Hopeless Youth prove they are not a band to stand in one place, and move on from their hardcore energy and anthems to the sludgy, grimy “Moon Child”. The bass is at the centre as you’d expect. It’s like scraping the metal from the bottom of your cup. But this too has energy in spite of its funereal tone. I wasn’t entirely surprised when this was followed by frantic thrashings. That’s what came with the punkish “Light Bearer”. “The Price to Pay” concludes the album and like “The Garden”, it’s power-packed with angst and energy. There’s a New York style swagger there but with the intrigue and originality of lesser known underground British bands like Black Polaris, Colours to Shame and others. It’s like “Hey, I’m in your face and you’re going to join me”. It could be threatening but it’s not because it draws us in anyway. It slows down and ends in sinister fashion. This is the other side of Hopeless Youth, who add interest by mixing it all up and inserting well-worked tempo changes into their song structures.
All in all, “Devil, Walk with Me” is great fun. It’s well played, tight and interesting. Hopeless Youth have many strings to their bow, and keep us moving and intrigued with a rich mix of styles rumbling through this 17 minute ep. Most of all, it’s the energy that comes across in abundance. Hopeless Youth has talent. They deserve to be heard. Check them out and enjoy the ride.
(9/10 Andrew Doherty)