This final chapter (pause for a collective, relieving sigh from the punknews crowd) of the cult favorite (don't look at me) Emo Diaries compilation series, titled The Hope I Hide Inside, finishes exactly what this series set out to do: highlight the talents of the unknown wonders and give a guiding light to some of the more obscure yet gifted bands around.
Its usual lineup of twelve tracks rounds out at forty-eight minutes, so it's still long enough to serve as much more than a sampler yet won't drag on to bore the listener in the later tracks like a lot of compilations can tend to do. The Hope I Hide Inside also aimed to go worldwide with the collection of bands, and with groups from the U.S., England, Norway, Sweden, and Israel, I'd say they succeeded well.
Jerusalem's My Name is Nobody's "Brother Abel" begin with odd, spoken/yelled vocals leading into chants with distorted, absolutely hardcore shrieking, indie rock landscapes, metal soloing, and a hardcore breakdown in the middle of the song. Fucking weird, and a little much for a second track.
Sounds Like Violence contribute what sounds like a complete abandonment of their sound, from what I've heard from them; the five-minute long "The Light is Such A Beautiful Sight" showcases a hazy, Cure-like outlook over a fuzzed keyboard, twangy octaves, and cracking, depressed lead vocals. I actually thought this song was the Latitude Blue contribution at first, who later add "On the Corner," which is definitely in the same vein, stylistically-speaking.
A Month of Somedays sound a lot like a more whiny version of Photo Album-era Death Cab with the yearning vocal textures of Matt Pryor.
Lock & Key are basically asking the listener, "Do you fucking love Hot Water Music and Planes Mistaken For Stars like we do? But you always wanted them really really slick-sounding? Man are we for you!" They are the gunshot start to a fairly monotonous third quarter of the comp.
Wil Holland, who goes by the moniker Lost On Purpose, definitely recalls the somber arrangements of Elliott Smith, with his soft acoustic strumming and whispering singing style. It's almost scary how close to a resurrection he seems to bring to the table of the late singer/songwriter.
The closer "Jus Primae Noctis" by The Silent Type sounds like what would happen if Sunny Day Real Estate had odd string arrangements and tried to be overdramatic. It's sort of a fitting conclusion to the series (or at least, as dramatic as the end of a compilation series of emo music can possibly be). You have to bear in mind the fact that all these songs ARE unreleased, so it deserves some due credit immediately. This concluding chapter itself might drag in a few places, but the stronger songs keep it solid and worth a listen at least, to see if it can accomplish what it's always tried to: shed some light on new, still unspoiled music.
- Oliver - "Straightest Jacket"
- My Name Is Nobody - "Brother Abel"
- The Holiday Plan - "Projecting Power"
- Sounds Like Violence - "The Light Is Such A..."
- A Month Of Somedays - "Forever Mine"
- Chasing Victory (Bailey Drive) - "How Would It... "
- Lock And Key - "Crow's Nest"
- Hercules Hercules - "Red Makes White"
- Lukestar - "Alpine Unit"
- Latitude Blue - "On The Corner"
- Lost On Purpose - "Friends"
- The Silent Type - "Jus Primae Noctis"