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(Album Review) HOPE? - Dead and Gone

Release date: August 5, 2021

Written by Jeff Tighe

There isn't a lot of information out there on Portland, Oregon's punk sensation Hope?, but this appears to be their first album. The 9 songs cover 22 minutes, so a pretty punk standard two-minutes-plus per song on average.

The first thing the listener takes note of are the raw vocals, vomited out by front woman Manda. Her caustic voice is well adapted to the extreme aggression of the music pumped out by bandmates Kalvin (guitar), Adam (bass) and Ralf (drums). As one would expect with this type of band, speed is the name of the game. This sucker gets going from song one and doesn't really let up anywhere along the line.

There isn't a single dud in the bunch. Kicking off with the hyper-fast "Leech", you will believe she means it when Manda spews out "die fucking leech!" Next the band kick out another speedster with "Constant Work" before following up with more equally fast songs such as "Impending Doom" and "Dead and Gone".

Manda has written lyrics that are typically left wing, as most punk songs are, with entries such as "Capitalism Ruins Everything Around Me" and the amusing, but hysterical, global warming warning "End of Time". Between the memorable choruses and the catchy riffs this effort doesn't wash over you without leaving some memorable residue. The longest song (at 3:42) is "Remnants of a Cracked Brain" and it is perhaps the best on the album because it gives the band some extra time to experiment with tempo changes and a main punishing riff that is almost heavy metal in quality.

This is a loud blast of excess that any punk fan should enjoy, as should metalheads with open minds.



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