Review Summary: Perhaps not the most original screamo you've heard in awhile, but this could be some of the most emotional.
Some bands really have a knack for making you feel whatever they’re feeling in their songs. The Hope and the Failure, a female fronted Swedish screamo band, are feeling pretty blue and they’re going to do the same to you. Their first and only album The Lights Are On But This Dance Never Ends
wraps you in melancholy from start to finish, with an ever-present, uneasy-yet-serene atmosphere that almost makes you feel uncomfortable listening to it. This might be a turn off to some, and while The Hope and the Failure don’t necessarily bring anything new to the table, fans of the genre should definitely find this album to be worth a listen.
What first drew me to the album was that the vocalist is in fact a woman, something I’ve always been partial to, and I wasn’t disappointed. Ina’s screaming is simply overflowing with emotion; you really can feel her pain in every line which can be overwhelming, that’s where the short length of the album (29 minutes) works in their favor. She occasionally changes it up with spoken word sections that aren’t quite as interesting. They don’t catch your attention like they should on an album where the vocals are as important as they are, it sounds as if she’s just reading monotonously off of a piece of paper. A piece of paper with some whiney lyrics written on it might I add, but that is sort of the point. They fit the overall feel of the music which is the most important part, even if they’re not all that well written.
While the vocals contribute heavily to the somber feel of this album, the music itself is what makes it. There’s nothing very technically impressive, but there’s certainly quite a bit of songwriting skill being put to work here. They manage to keep things sinister sounding, yet oddly uplifting at times for something so depressing, which the track Embrace
is a good example of. In addition to that, there are a few mini-atmospheres that are found throughout the album, like on Violet
which is more hateful and angry, or Prozac Hell
which is more on the lighter, sadder side of things.
As I mentioned before, the album is short, but it is not free of repetition. There are quite a few sections that go on for too long, which basically stops the captivation that record had until that section passes. That issue removes much of the experience that I feel [i]The Lights Are On[i/] could have had. On the bright side, we’re still left with a fantastic piece of screamo that should please anyone looking to go deeper into the genre for at least a little while. As of right now, The Hope and the Failure are not together, but from what I understand there will be an eventual follow-up to this album; if that’s the case, there’s no doubt in my mind that we’ll see an essential addition to the genre, considering this
was them just getting started.