Hopesfall - Magnetic North (Cover Artwork)


Magnetic North (2007)


Oh my, what has happened to Hopesfall? Many people wrote Hopesfall off after the release of A-Types threw many people for a loop. I admit, I was one of those people who initially complained heavily about it after the delightful The Satellite Years, but the strange thing is A-Types kept finding its way back into my CD player every month or so. Yes, there was a major shift in style, but songs such as "The Ones" and "Per Sempre Marciamo" still contained that Hopesfall feel and some songs such as "Start and Pause" just rocked.

Well, all that is gone on the latest Hopesfall disc Magnetic North. While A-Types had at least some connection to earlier Hopesfall, this new album severs all ties and makes me wonder the band still continues on under the name Hopesfall. This is a straight rock record with almost no noticable traces of what this band once was.

The album actually opens with one of the strong tracks, "RX Contender the Pretender." Jay Forrest continues the trend he started on A-Types of mainly singing with a few light growls mixed in for good measure. The frustrating thing about this album is that there are some parts, such as the middle of "Swamp Kittens," that sound very interesting, but as quickly as they came, they are gone. Another gripe I have is the three interlude songs on the album. "I Can Do This on an Island" is absolutely horrible. Jay Forrest's voice is hard to listen to as he sings over a lightly strummed guitar for a minute and a half. I thought I liked the song "The Canon" until I realized the riff is an exact ripoff of Hum's excellent song "Little Dipper." So I guess for Hopesfall, being influenced by Hum now means ripping off their exact riffs. I also guess the short songs are supposed to bridge the album together, but they just seem awkward and out of place. "Paisley" might be a tolerable closer if Jay Forrest didn't come in with pointless screams of "I know!" at the most inappropriate moments. The addition of a piano in "Cubic Zirconias Are Forever" is startling and like the rest of this album, extremely boring. Many of these songs just plod along at a three to four-minute pace before ending with little notice.

Parts of the first two songs grab me and "Vacation/Add/Vacation! "is actually a good track. Other than that, however, this album is pretty much garbage. If I want this type of album I can get it from ten different and better bands. From listening to this album you would think Hopesfall collected all their B-Sides from A-Types and then listened to some Circa Survive before heading to the studio. Go ahead and throw the dirt on this band; they are officially dead.