Words by Matt Gabites
Let’s face it, when we eventually come out the other side of Covid lockdowns most of us will look back at just how much time we wasted.
Sure, it was fun to clock GTA V for the fifteenth time and leave behind an internet search history that would make R Kelly blush. But there will always be that nagging suspicion that we could have done more.
Three blokes that won’t have that worry are Geelong skate/punk rock trio All Hope Remains, who somehow managed to use their lockdown time to record an album without ever even being in the same room together. And perhaps the biggest compliment that can be given to the resultant A Silent War is… you’d never know.
This is as coherent, comprehensive and impressive an example of the genre that you could hope to hear.
All You Got wastes no time in ticking all of the skate/punk boxes with its snare abuse and angsty vocals before springing the first of the albums welcome surprises. A spoken word sound bite that leads into a more
melodic passage that offers a glimpse of things to come.
Ill Effect ruminates on the damage that a disposable society causes before Vortex introduces us to a more measured approach that builds on the earlier catchier moments without compromising on heaviness.
Fall From Grace offers one of the album’s lighter moments before the mosh-inducing double-bass kick drives us on to a more contemplative moment and then accelerates into Follow The Leader.
And by now you’d be hard pushed to not just be impressed by what these guys have managed to achieve in three minute grabs, but also be amazed that they did it all remotely!
Then IDC’s first two minutes gives an idea of what an Alice In Chains song may have sounded like if speed had been their drug of choice over heroin before fading out on the back of a wonderfully evocative riff.
From there we go into two minutes of pure skate/pop/punk with Trial By Error, leading into more of the same by Let’s Forget and Sleight Of Hand.
Checkmate spends three minutes highlighting just how adept All Hope Remains are at pulling off this style of music before yet another surprise by way of a piano outro.
Dare To Dream showcases not only the band’s songwriting skills, but also their technical ability as dual guitars motor us on toward album closer Crisis. A breathless track that honours the quality of all that has preceded it whilst still delivering some more of those welcome surprises that A Silent War has in abundance.
Mark, Geoff and Tony have created an album, against the odds, that shoves a rigid middle digit firmly in the face of Covid.
And the perfect kinda music to have blaring when you eventually get around to deleting that incriminating lockdown browsing history.