High Hopes - Remote (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

High Hopes

Remote (2010)


High Hopes feature Nick Wellner, formerly of the fairly notable MPLS heavy metal act After the Burial. Having already released a full-length in 2008 (Consumer), that should probably be a footnote for the band by this point, though. The content of this five-song followup EP, then, hopes to give the Midwest hardcore act a strong foothold of their own, so how does it hold up?

"Sleep Never Comes" opens things by way of a fast, intense and mildly metallic sound that bears hints of Converge (vocally) and early Rise and Fall. But things feel a lot more straightforward and stripped-down compared to those bands. There isn't as much crust influence, either–the structure's simply a standard, quick-and-thick approach, with a more moshy, somewhat overdone part toward the end. Even after taking it in a few listens to try and get around what the band's going for, it's tough to say if it feels effectual in some way. The lightning-fast tempo changes and burly pummeling of "Ravenous" is impressive, however, and could pull in a listener a little better, while closer "Promise of Youth" feels considerably more upbeat and melodic than the rest of its preceding tracks, and its mosh part has a head-bobbing buoyancy and briefness that's acceptable.

The EP's midsection brings the most interesting guitar work, even if they come in sporadic, compressed bits: "Soggy Teeth" adds a little bit of wiry bounce and tension, while the axework in "Burning Beast" is riffy and effective in a minor league Kurt Ballou way.

It's hard to be sold on High Hopes 100% through this particular EP, but some of it is indeed pretty interesting and well done. They channel some good inspirations, and there are moments on here that, if fleshed out and expanded upon, could make up a pretty impressive full-length.

Remote EP