Album Review:  Promises – “Hopeless Sons” EP

Album Review: Promises – “Hopeless Sons” EP

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Often, when one door closes someone forgets to lock the bathroom window.  Climbing out of the window that now defunct Gold Coast outfit, Vices For Virtue, left open are Promises.  Comprising the bulk of Vices for Virtues, the five piece formed in the beginning of 2010 and within three months had written and recorded a debut EP, Hopeless Sons, and signed to one of Australia’s best independent labels, Pee Records.

In March 2010, the band took themselves to Capulet Studios with the freshly written songs in tow to record Hopeless Sons.   All recording, mixing and mastering was done by Mitta Norath (One Vital Word, Raise The Alarm).

Whilst the EP comes with five tracks and clocks in at just under 15 minutes, opener No Story Left Untold is a short taster.  Kicking off with distorted guitar, the song moves into a repeated gang vocal of ‘we know more than you’d have us believe’, before vocalist Zaca, concludes the song with the same line.  Flint Soles is the other track on the release that seems almost out of place because of its brevity.  Thirty seconds of thrashing guitars with the Jean-Paul Satre quote, ‘hell is other people’, laid over the top.

While their take on modern hardcore isn’t breaking boundaries, the band’s approach of writing meaningful and passionate lyrics separates them from the many bands who write hardcore songs in a need to disperse anger and misfortune.  Meaning isn’t lost in a sea of indistinguishable vocals, rather the melody in the Zaca’s voice, the odd snap into gang vocals along with a frenzy of guitar work between Casey and Joe makes Promises deliver something more than typical play-by-numbers hardcore.  This is no more evident than in the song Notes.

Closer, Forecast, begins slower than any other track but it also stands as the strongest song of the album along with the longest, coming in at just under six minutes.   Extensive guitar and drum tempo shifts ensures there’s never a sense of drag, rather it could be a collective of a few songs, cleverly melded into one.

Whilst being old hats in the game, the new band has delivered an EP which is a promising index of what will be capable in their future.  Pun intended.  As this band grows as a unit, expect stronger examples of modern hardcore that doesn’t prescribe to a scene, but a belief.  Check out their MySpace page.

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