on 21 May 2004
On paper, it sounds like it just wouldn't work. Instrumentally we're talking a beefed up, aggressive and very prog take on the best of melodic rock and post-grunge that brings to mind the best of the Pixies, Smashing Pumpkins, maybe even a tad of Radiohead in there for good measure, while vocally its a gut-bursting hardcore/metalcore/screamo type of affair that speaks pain, pain and more pain...
However, Hopesfall do make it work, and boy they do it with soul. No Wings to Speak Of is a swirling beauty of twisting songs, heart-rending melodies and edgy aggression that doesn't have an equal on the planet. Desperate riffing and tortured vocals dance hand in hand with washes of warm distortion and intricate, spacey guitar lines while the song structures rise and fall with epic cresendos to gentle interludes and just about everything else in between. The stunning beauty of the instrumental side of NWTSO cascading against the sucker-punch of the screaming vocals is simply virtriolic, and just when the emotion and voilence is brewing over the breaking point suddently BANG everything slows down to a wonderful acoustic section... it just NEEDS TO BE HEARD. Listening to this, for me, is like taking a journey through another solar system, and its one i'm compelled to take again and again.
Just about every part of this skyscraper of an E.P. is top notch, from the awe-inspiring six string work, the solid drumming (with some pretty effective and suprising use of double-bass in there), the bass lines, the rough but clear production and of course the revolutionary approach to song writing. They probably didn't know it at the time, but Hopesfall set a distinctive benmark for the genre that many would try to immitate but none, not even themselves, could match. Even though the Satelite Years was great, it would sadly not feature exactly the same line up and in my estimation, was ever so slightly inferior to this.
It might not be that common but try to get your hands on this. We're talking best releases of all time here.
If you like this also try Envy or City of Catapiller