It has been years since A Hope for Home served us an album. I remember when “In Abstraction” dropped my freshman year of college. I got the email my preorder had shipped and it was the highlight of the week. Of course, that’s quickly approaching six years ago now. I’ve had plenty of time to listen to their discography and have actually found it to be their weakest album; on the same token, “Realis” is quite possibly one of my favorite albums ever and “The Everlasting Man”, despite its stylistic consistency, is also a pretty great album.
However, the group has another release that most of us probably haven’t heard about, let alone actually listened to. “Here, The End” was the group’s 2007 debut – and apart from iTunes, it has been impossible to find. It’s not on Spotify, there are no physical copies, and the internet barely has any information on it. However, someone uploaded the entire album to YouTube. All ethical concerns aside, it’s great to hear this so-called lost album from one of my favorite bands,.
So, what’s the verdict? Unlike their other albums, “Here, The End” is lacking in post-rock influence. Some may be disappointed, but the album is appropriately post-hardcore without the frills. While both “The Everlasting Man” and “Realis” have their share of piano moments, you’d be hard-pressed to find an album that weaves piano seamlessly and unintrusively into a mess of sprawling guitarwork. Usually piano in these contexts takes a pseudo-classical approach (for example, See the Light), but much like the defunct Harp and Lyre, the piano is genre-relevant. I don’t know enough music theory to say exact how this is accomplished, but I quite enjoy it. This album also arguably features the best clean vocal presence of the discography.
For being an independent release, the production quality did suffer a bit. However, given the raw nature of the music, and the overall quality of the songs, it’s not too problematic. It’s not like most bands in 2007 were striving for a pristine sound.
Overall, I’m excited to find this album stream. It’s like buried treasure from one of my favorite bands. Even though they’ve been silent for a while, the maturity on this album gives it a bit of a timeless sense and apart from a couple stylistic cues, it could easily be mistaken for a more recent release.