EP REVIEW: Hope Springs – Sooner Or Later

a4143374910_10For a couple of years now there’s been talk of a 90s revival in music from the slacker tones of Yuck to the many vying for the title of the new Dinosaur Jr (J is still the king). Locally here in Australia there doesn’t seem to be quite the same desire to slavishly replicate the heroics of past compatriots from that era but those doing it exceptionally well include Sydney’s Bearhug and Melbourne’s Iowa. Looking to the north one band slowly but surely cementing their place in similar fashion are Hope Springs.

Sooner Or Later is the latest EP from the Sunshine Coast trio based around the Lee brothers Tim (guitar/vox) and Joshua (drums) and it finds a solid foothold amongst the tangled lineage of post-rock and emotive indie rock that was executed so well in Australia by the likes of Bluebottle Kiss, Purplene, Two Litre Dolby and others. BBK in particular casts a long shadow over Hope Springs via the band’s quiet/loud dynamics, churning, chiming and distorted guitars and Tim’s angst-filled howl of a voice which is often a dead ringer for BBK mainman Jamie Hutchings – who even makes an appearance producing the track ‘On The Boat’.

What appeals the most about this EP is the band’s commitment to the intensity of the music, with each song they establish the tension and grip of the music, pulling it taut and drawing the listener into the turbulence. It is often a claustrophobic sound but more often than not they time their point of release just right, letting the music open up into panoramic vistas akin to blinding sunlight at the end of long tunnel. The first single and title track is built on relentless military drumming from Joshua which allows just that kind of release when it hits the chorus making it sound like a lost gem from the late 90s. ‘Broken’ dials back the bluster and allows some beautiful wordless vocal melodies to bloom in the quieter surrounds. It’s a mesmerising four and a half minutes that ebbs and flows with just the right amount of restraint.

In it’s finest moments Sooner Or Later hits lofty heights and if they can match those peaks with an album’s worth of songs further down the track they’ll quickly gain wider recognition for their music.

Chris Familton

Head over to the band’s Bandcamp page to stream the tracks and pick up a digital, CD or vinyl copy 

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