You wouldn’t expect it, but The Hope Conspiracy have been around for quite a long time. Formed in ’99, they take their sweet time coming up with new material for their fan base, with only three full lengths and a single EP in their discography. Yet the members themselves have been busy in the hardcore industry throughout the life of The Hope Con, collaborating with numerous other bands and starting multiple side projects (All Pigs Must Die, Bars, ect.). Yet averaging around every three years or so, The Hope Conspiracy finally take time to make their way back into the studio and are able to bring back to life the band they started so long ago. Sometimes bands that follow this method of ‘hiatus after hiatus’ makes them suffer in the studio, with albums being carelessly put together with little cohesion or thought into the making of their album. But The Hope Conspiracy have proved time and time again that this simply is not the case for them by being one of the most consistent hardcore bands to date. With that being said, it will not come off as a surprise that The Hope Conspiracy’s third and latest to date, full length album, Death Knows Your Name
, follows this same trend of consistency that the band has been maintaining for the past decade of their life.
It must be very exciting being a hardcore band from Boston. Not only do you have multiple labels constantly scouting out the next prospective band to sign down there, but you are inherited with a legacy of tradition that has been around since the birthing of hardcore. Innumerable legendary bands of the genre have called Boston home, and even more are actively thriving in it. But more importantly, it gives bands a sense of pride and confidence knowing that you’re from the great city and birthing place of legends of the genre. The popularity that The Hope Con have fed off of during their life as a band have been directly related to the fact that they call Boston their hometown. Coupled by the general long life of the band, this practically makes The Hope Con living legends and it makes Death Knows Your Name
all the more exciting of an album to listen to. Death Knows Your Name
radiates confidence that only a band from Boston would be able to yield. While opening track ‘They Know Not’ starts off fairly softly, with a clean, non-distorted riff before blowing up the speakers at around the half way mark, it isn’t until second track ‘Deadtown Nothing’ that the true ability and swagger of The Hope Con finally becomes apparent to the listener, with a heavily distorted guitar chord bleeding feedback in the background with a relentless bass line laying out the track work of the song.
Unsurprisingly, Death Knows Your Name
is quite a bit different from the rest of The Hope Con’s discography. As if their fairly interesting album cover is any indicator, their third album is rampant with a southern tinge all throughout the album. Examples like from the heavily distorted bass opener from ‘A Darkness in the Light’ or the southern attitude ‘Curse of the Oil Snakes’, The Hope Conspiracy take a bit of a new direction in Death Knows Your Name
that results in both positives and negatives. The positives being that they sound more comfortable in their newly found sound than in any other album released by them. The negatives being that they seem to be sacrificing originality a bit by biting off of other bands to find their sound. Yet it cannot be denied that Death Knows Your Name
is an infectiously catchy album that begs to be turned up to the max and demands a start to a bar fight every time it is turned on. You’ll be banging your head to the sound of ‘Hang Your Cross’ and ‘Leech Bloody Leech’ every time you hear it start in your speakers.
So while the originality of Death Knows Your Name
might be lacking in the overall scope, it is hard to fault an album that is just so damn catchy from a band that have outlasted nearly every other band in their scene. The Hope Conspiracy have stood the test of time and in their third full length they show their confidence and their swagger in their ability to continually be a consistent, above par band that, while maybe not releasing as many albums as some in their scene, still know how to appease their fan base while still showing that they are not afraid to change up their sound for the better.