It wasn't more than twenty-four hours from the time that I started typing up this review that I was having a conversation with a friend of mine in the basement bathroom of Cheapo Records about the '88 styled hardcore resurgence that happened, for the most part, in Boston in the last part of the 20th century. He commented on how, although it was his favorite time in hardcore, he could never see another era in hardcore where kids rehashed one of hardcore more positive albeit cheesy times. He could just never see another In My Eyes or Floorpunch coming out of anywhere in the United States. The kids today with their urban street wear and their flat brims would find the athletic driven image to be way too over the top and just plain moronic and silly. Hardcore kids today want super slick slightly metallic hardcore with long-winded emotional outpourings of days of youth just spent. Or they want gloom and doom coupled with beards and Sabbath riffs. The last thing kid's want to hear is a band singing about being stoked on hardcore and moshing at shows.
Sadly, Signs of Hope won't be the jewel of any kid's record collection that happened to go their first show in 2003. However, for me, and my friend accompanying the lavatory in Minnesota's "last record store," we are all about bands reliving the past of bands that are reliving the past of bands before them. Signs of Hope are hopefully another start the third wave of youth crew, much needed in a time of stylized moshing, fests with an incredible number of like-sounding bands, and kids that wouldn't give a shit unless someone came and moshed them out a window.
First and Foremost is not the greatest '97 revival album, The First Step currently waves that torch. Nevertheless, Signs of Hope isn't anything to knock either. First and Foremost reminds me of the first Ten Yard Fight album without any of the football references. First and Foremost is just a fast, stompy, energetic hardcore album that can be a bit lackadaisical at times even though there isn't an original note played on it. However, I'd rather listen to Ten Yard Fight part two than Modern Life is War part eight or American Nightmare part 4,000,882,001. I don't need hear any more lyrics about small towns, broken hearts, and stitches. I want to hear more songs about not wanting to go to work and smashing the alarm clock with a baseball bat. I want to hear more songs with the word "Go" in it when it's not paired up with, "Go away, waa-waa my heart shreds." No, I want “Go” as in "GO!" - 1, 2, 3, fucking GO! Move, have fun, mosh, sing along. This is what hardcore should be all about anyhow.
7.2 / 10
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