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Various - Hopelessly Devoted To You Vol 4

  by Anthony Dhanendran

published: 23 / 7 / 2002



Various - Hopelessly Devoted To You Vol 4
Label: Hopeless
Format: CD

intro

Decidely mixed fourth offering, consisting entirely of unreleased tracks, in cheap CD sampler series from American indie hardcore label, Hopelessly Devoted to You


The indie punk label from Van Nuys piles back into the fray with their fourth sampler, offering the latest delights from LA and beyond, from laid back to hardcore. The album kicks off with Californians Thrice, who combine sharp lyrics with some nifty Alice Cooper guitar runs. Nice. Avenged Sevenfold, who are tight but uninspired, come up next, and clocking in at over six minutes, it’s a bit too strung out for this kind of situation. The cavalry charge comes in the form of Against All Authority and Common Rider who both excel here at the angular, polemic punk thang. When the Weakerthans’ ‘Past Due’ comes on the slow paced organ and piano provide a welcome change in pace and a reminder of the Hopeless people’s catholic tastes and the label’s wide remit. Label favourites Atom and His Package are a more interesting proposition. A deliberately cheap synth-sounding production, which might sound contrived in some hands, works here with help from the deliberately naïve lyrics and Adam Goren’s plaintive singing. Already featured on NPR in the States, Atom and His Package sing comic songs about normal life rather than Dr Demento style parodies, which will keep them categorised as lo-fi but interesting, rather than wacky but boring. Selby Tigers’, who remind us that ‘Cheerleading is Big Business’ offer up dual vocals which grab you by the throat and twist. At the same time the sharp, cynical lyrics are engaging and the melodies finely honed to match. Like almost all compilations, the rest of it is a mixed bag. Samiam and Digger (with the intriguingly named ‘The Ninja, The Pinto, The Dan Marino’) are pleasantly perky major-chord mongers, while Scared of Chaka are amiably simple ramalamalama types. The difficult middle of the album is bookended by Mustard Plug, who are apparently one of the bigger names on the album, but who just come across as competent but dull ska-punk. The closing tracks revisit the Weakerthans, whose second effort here is even better than the first, the lovably deranged Atom, AAA, Avenged Sevenfold and Thrice, as well as an unnecessary acoustic version of ‘Who’s Your Daddy’ by Jeff Ott of Fifteen It’s an easy form of music to play but a hard one to master and this can lead to the good bands being lost among all the three-chord kerrazy haircut pointlessness. Hopeless, however, have assembled a talented and eclectic (if a little motley) crüe of class acts. It’s not going to be a long-term feature of anyone’s record collection but it provides enough hooks to reel in interested newcomers and serves its purpose as a flavour of the label. At the same time, the 10 newly released tracks are plainly not throw-off material and so it’s something that might be of interest to hardened Hopeless types too.



Track Listing:-
1 Thrice– Betrayal Is A Symptom
2 Avenged Sevenfold– Second Heartbeat
3 Against All Authority– Dinkas When I Close My Eyes
4 Common Rider– Small Pebble
5 The Weakerthans– Past Due
6 Atom And His Package– Upside Down From Here
7 Mustard Plug– Not Enough
8 Samiam– Look No Hand
9 Digger– The Ninja, The Pinto, The Dan Marino
10 Selby Tigers– Cheerleading Is Big Business
11 Scared Of Chaka– Glass Socket/Broken Jaw
12 Mustard Plug– Away From Here
13 The Weakerthans– Aside
14 Atom And His Package– Possession
15 Against All Authority– Out A Luck
16 Jeff Off (Of Fifteen)– Who's Your Daddy (Acoustic)
17 Avenged Sevenfold– Darkness Surrounding
18 Thrice– Hideous Strength



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