It was back in August 2015 that I gave a plug to Dead Hope, a new act to emerge out of Glasgow.
In doing so, I went against my practice of drawing attention to new and often unsigned bands, and it was very much on the basis that they had been recommended by Basil Pieroni of Butcher Boy who was friends with the three blokes who comprised Dead Hope. As I said at the time, Basil knows me well enoug, however, to realise that I don’t just put things on the blog as a favour to someone and so when he handed over a CD with the two tracks that made up the debut single, he did say it wouldn’t matter if I had a listen and filed it away.
It turned out that I really enjoyed the songs as they brought back memories of that warm noisy fuzzbox sound that was very fashionable for a period back in the 80s while there’s a hint of wonderful and much missed Urusei Yatsura about them too.
Two years later, in September 2017, Dead Hope got round to releasing a debut album, entitled Songs From The Second Floor. It contains ten tracks and takes about 34 minutes from start to end. In some ways, the songs are a mild variation on the one tune, but in all honesty, it’s a belter of a tune that stands up to repeated listening.
Dead Hope make music that hasn’t ever really gone out of fashion during my time in listening to and appreciating music. It’s that blend of new wave and rock with the occasional hint of a catchy pop riff that worms its way into your brain. I’ve mostly listened to the album on the daily commute as it’s the perfect length to take in stepping out of the door to walking into the office via two short train journeys across a 4-mile distance, and without fail, I’m tapping my feet and nodding along to songs that are guaranteed to lift any gloomy mood. As with most debut albums, some songs are most instant or memorable than others, but such is their brevity that the next one is along before you know it.
I haven’t had the chance to see the band play live yet, but on the basis of the album, I can see the drummer bathed in sweat from his exertions while bassist and guitarist will most likely having bleeding fingers from playing so hard and fast. The singer would surely be unable to talk for days without it sounding as if sandpaper had been applied to the back of his throat. It’s akin to the punk rock championed by the likes of Black Flag that was later refined for radio consumption by the likes of Sonic Youth and Dinosaur Jr.
It’s pleasing to read that Dead Hope have received some airplay on BBC Radio 6 as well as being championed by a number of DJs on community stations in and around Glasgow, and I hope that a few more pick up the songs in their end of year reviews.
The album is available via bandcamp, as a digital release for £4.50 or as a CD for £5, which strikes me as a bit of a bargain. You can also listen to all ten tracks to try before you buy. Click here.
Here’s a reminder of the debut single