For Fans Of
Melbourne hardcore. These days it pulls a Rob Burgundy and says "I’m kind of a big deal". One of the more recent bands to join the club is Hands Of Hope. This melodic hardcore five-piece initially sound like every other Australian and intentional melodic hardcore act, so don’t expect to be surprised. However, you should nevertheless expect to be entertained.
With the heavy hitting metalcore nature of For The Fallen Dreams and In Hearts Wake and the emotional and passionate aspects of Saviour, these guys have really nailed their sound with this debut EP. Opening songs, ‘Unbreakable’and ‘The Constant‘ – which is sadly not a Counterparts cover – are both solid songs, if incredibly generic by today’s standards. These two tracks will leave you with a feeling of ‘Hey, this is good…but where’s the ace up their sleeves at?’ That’s when ‘Dear Old Friend‘ comes in and allows for this EP to really get going and everything starts to click from here on out.
The deeply emotional theme of ‘Dear Old Friend‘ will hit close for some. Watching a close friend fall into addiction and narcotic abuse is a very hard to see and bear. The two-step inducing Hand Of Mercy sounding verses are also desirable. Couple that with the low growls and mid-range hardcore shouts; the mosh heavy sections contrasting with plenty of clean guitar melodies, the heartfelt lyrics with an immensely personal and powerful vocal delivery – ‘The boy you used to be, changed the day you changed the way you lived your passing glance at a life’ – and you’ve got the best song on the EP.
‘Perfect Child‘ – which will really hit you in the feels – is also another great standout and it bears a very strong influence from Saviour. With lyrics like ‘Mother, father, how could you do this? Open your minds and look pass the surface. There is a universe beneath the skin, all it takes is to look within‘, and with double time sections complementing the more mid-tempo hardcore moments, you get a fantastic three and a half minutes.
Pathways is where the band AGAIN take a leaf from Saviour‘s book (technically, it’d be from From Autumn To Ashes‘ first album, but whatever) with the inclusion of female vocals. This contrast between the screams and actual singing works really well. But this is mosh heavy track is overshadowed by the EP’s last song, ‘Fragility‘, which features Jon from Love Alone, who does a great job with his screams. Now, this final song is more like the first two tracks on the EP; a great song, but there are other, better tracks available on here for your listening pleasures.
This six track EP is a great start for these Melbourne bred boys. Things rarely stagnate, and at times, there are some real personal touches to it, especially lyrically. Hands Of Hope really do have all the makings of a great band, however, they’re a small fish in a big sea right now. It is hard to step out from the crowd these days without alienating and confusing audiences, but Hands Of Hope now have a great debut release under their belts and it’s got the power to set them up for the big leagues. Hopefully the only way from here will be up.
Dear Old Friend
Fragility (Ft. Jon from Love Alone)