Die Hoffnung - Love Songs (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Die Hoffnung

Love Songs (2006)

No Idea

While Die Hoffnung is made up of the brothers Marburger from I Hate Myself, it should be made known that there's actually only one track on Love Songs that could be mistaken for an IHM tune (closer "Tour of Bridges"). The other 11 are surprisingly more riffier, driving, and laden with tempo and mood changes than IHM ever was, as DH references mid-`80s emo icons much in the same way Hot Cross did on their last offering, 2004's Fair Trades and Farewells EP.

The object of Love Songs' desire is mainly loose, usually noodly guitars propelling schizophrenic emotions. If the band isn't executing short, fiftful bursts ("Lovemonger"), they're cramming all sorts of mini-buildups and letdowns into four or five-minute expressions (the horn-helped "Der Autounfull," "Olga the Contortionist vs. Harry Houdini"). Bass-less, the album still manages to convey strange, twisted noise for all of its 37 minutes, in between cross-sections of quiet, more solemn reflections, like in the captivating "Orpheus in His Underwear."

Dark and confounding, the band often come off lyrically like Harry Potter spells, but it lends to the music well ("Drink deep and choke on this bleeding briny wine / Bubbly shanties, gurgle-groans, your chums, abob, in time chant...").

While the album seems to run slightly thin by its second half, I'm glad Love Songs finally saw the light of day, as it was recorded way back in July of 2005. Die Hoffnung expertly manage to convey the same weird sense of loss, desperation, and confusion as did their lineage, but in a whole new, refreshing way.

Der Autounfull

Orpheus in His Underwear