On a recent Bandcamp discover session, I stumbled across a band named The Hope Hereafter who had just released a brand new four song EP titled As Long As You're Here through Middle-Man Records in Indiana. Other than that The Hope Hereafter consists of two members named Lauren and Shawn, I couldn't find much else about the band but I adored this EP and excitedly broke my 9pm CPRW work curfew to review it.
The first track on the EP is named Twenty Seven Forever. It's this incredible concoction of the best parts of indie and gruff punk with great jangly guitar and massive fist in the air shout alongs. Immediately Shawn's voice feels so strained as he fights to get every word out. The track is about feeling left behind but always remembering the good times with your old friends. Every word is sung with such emotion it makes the song incredibly easy to relate to and it's packed with such passion and energy that you're going along for the ride whether you like it or not. Up next is Tag Me In. This second track remains gruff but adds elements of emo into the song. I feel like these styles shouldn't mesh as well as they do but The Hope Hereafter have managed it. The pace is slightly slower than the opening track. This allows the lyrics to really shine though as the band paint this great picture of getting into a situation too deeply but having the support of your partner to help you out.
The third song on the EP is named Monster. The song is all over the place in the best way possible. There are shifts in tempo throughout the track giving it this brilliant chaotic feeling. The vocals feel at their rawest on this track which adds plenty of emotion. Between all the chaos, Monster contains some lovely guitar parts that keep the song feeling a bit jovial. The song feels positive with it being about having someone who helps improve you as a person, whether it's being patient and appreciating everything you have or simply to stop you running away from life. The final song on As Long As You're Here is titled 'Lil Skyrim. I don't think the song is actually about the game. The track goes along at a high tempo and again has plenty of energy but it's actually quite a sad song. Shawn sings about feeling like you want the earth to swallow you up because you feel like your relationship is ending. Yet again The Hope Hereafter paint such a great picture lyrically you can imagine the story of the song happening in your head.
What a superb EP that really came out of nowhere. I love stumbling across tiny bands like The Hope Hereafter and being completely blown away by their brilliance. This is a band you should be checking out!
Stream and download As Long As You're Here here: https://middlemanrecords.bandcamp.com/album/as-long-as-youre-here
Like The Hope Hereafter here: https://www.facebook.com/The-Hope-Hereafter
This review was written by Colin Clark.