Lakota - Hope for the Haunted (Cover Artwork)


Hope for the Haunted (2005)

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Lakota have been listening to the Foo Fighters, or at least the loud, fast songs. What you get on Hope for the Haunted is a batch of up-tempo numbers (you know, "Monkey Wrench" speed) with big guitars and drums, and vocals that move between passionate singing and shouts. If Dave Grohl started a power-pop/punk band I suspect it would sound something like this. The big difference is that Lakota don't write riffs that are as memorable or melodies that are as hummable as Grohl's outfit.

The pop-punk-meets-guitar-rock sound works best on songs like opener "Hope for the Haunted," which has a verse made up of stuttered guitar, two sticks on the hi-hat beat and a faded vocal line that sound a whole hell of a lot like "Everlong," "Ember," whose opening riff sounds a whole hell of a lot like ...Trail of Dead's "Another Morning Stoner," and "Ornaments," with its dark pop that sounds similar to something off of Jawbreaker's Dear You.

Still, even these songs fall victim to the stale songwriting tactics that are found all over Hope for the Haunted. Every time a chorus starts, so do the layered vocals, and while they are meant to give that section of the song an extra kick, it just leaves them all feeling the same. Again, there is also the fact that this is guitar-driven music, but after listening to the album a few times you will realize you can't recall any of the riffs.

A band like Reeve Oliver is doing similar things to Lakota, but they are taking home the gold while Lakota is struggling for the bronze. Hope for the Haunted is the type of album it is difficult to say a lot about; it starts, and then ends, and what comes in between is a guitar-driven pop-punk/rock hybrid that isn't too upsetting or too awe-inspiring.