Review: Jack Foley
"OUR aim is to make music that fuses together all of our
favourite bands and capture the initial excitement that we got
when we heard artists like Fugazi, Neil Young, Metallica, Bowie,
for the first time.
"If we have any influences whatsoever, it's wanting to be
like those bands that follow their own journey as musicians. Bands
that don't need to be part of a particular scene to be what they
are. That's what we like."
Welcome to No Hope In New Jersey, a four-piece rock band from
Manchester who bear little resemblance to the traditional sound
of that city.
Boasting power riffs galore and an epic, big band sound, No Hope
In New Jersey wear their influences on their sleeves and their
ball-busting debut album, Steady Diet of Decline is an
absolute rock monster.
"We're not the most overtly macho band in the world like,
say, Black Flag back in the day," continues lead singer,
Andy. "But we play with the same abandon and disregard for
current convention. And to my mind that's what you really want
with a live band. Not this streamlined stuff that passes for punk
The result is as powerful and intense as you might expect, with
very few pauses for breath.
Former single, Decline, sets the standard from the outset,
unleashing some really big riffs and building towards a fiery
It's reminiscent of Foo Fighters, they not nearly as good, while
some of the hooks tip-toe into metal territory.
Bad Luck follows with some more ragged hooks and a full-on
assault of power chords - with Andy adopting a somewhat shouty
It's evidence of the album at its most straightforward and raw
- and it's a weakness.
The band occasionally seems a little too fixated on their live
sound and are quoted as saying the album is a means to an end
to further the live experience - hence lots of head-banging anthems
that are designed to turn up the heat in the mosh-pit.
Had there been a few more tracks like Joys In Regret,
which contain some quality melodies to offset the power, then
Steady Diet of Decline may have fared better with this
Waste is another solid track, beginning with an excellent
riff that helps lend it an immediately catchy vibe - some of the
backing vocals midway through are reminiscent of a Beach Boys
sound, albeit set against something a little more heavy.
But Sky Deal is fairly average and Invaders
a little too generic for this sort of thing.
It's a feature of the album that you can virtually pick out the
potential singles. Too many other tracks blur into one.
It should be interesting to see what becomes of No Hope In New
Jersey given that the vibe surrounding them continues to build.
Sadly, this debut album isn't the take-notice breakthrough I
had been expecting.