East West - Hope In Anguish (Cover Artwork)

East West

Hope In Anguish (2003)


Corrine Johnson

Hope in Anguish shows great growth in East West (Mike Tubbs, Bob Vergura, James Jenkins, and Jon Druse) since the last CD, The Light in Guinevere's Garden. Musically and lyrically, this CD is inspired.

"The Final Say" and "Zero Hour" are commentaries on the music business. "Zero Hour" gives us a glimpse of life on the road. You can hear the white lines on the road going past, as the band travels through the night to the next town.

"Dwell" and "Seven" have a more mystic feeling. And by mystic, I mean that feeling you have when you are deep in contemplation, and enjoying being inside your own head where no one else can go. But don't let that fool you into thinking these songs are soft. "Dwell's" chorus of accusations jars you back to reality.

"Vacant," "Brutally Wrong," and "Murderer," as well as "Dwell," are forcefully pounding discourses on some of the darker things in life. Given the subject matter, "Murderer" may not be the easiest song to sing along with, but the music overcomes the distastefulness of the subject and makes you want to listen again and again.

"The Great Facade" feels like a movie. It's very rich and full of color and depth, like walking through a fragrant woods in autumn, feeling a chill in the air, and hearing a waterfall up ahead.

The last cut is over 13 minutes long. It is aptly titled "Carpe Noctum," which means "seize the night." The first four minutes is a cacophony of night sounds ranging from crashes to telephones to basketball, which slowly changes into an awesome instrumental jam.

One of the things that really sticks out on this album is the song placement. The arrangement of the tracks on the CD improves an already great collection of songs by giving it a comprehensive feel. My only complaint is the placement of "The Great Facade." I think that "Zero Hour" would have flowed into "Carpe Noctum" much better because "Carpe Noctum" seems like a continuation of the story in "Zero Hour." Other than that, the album flows extremely well. They jump right in and get you rocking. Once you are feeling the love, they hit you with the hard stuff of "Brutally Wrong" and "Murderer." Slowly, they pull you out of it with a little glimpse of band life. The CD takes you from life to deep darkness back to life again. Hope in Anguish shows you that no matter what's going on, what you are feeling, there are answers. Truly, there is more Hope than Anguish in this album.