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No Hope In New Jersey - Steady Diet of Decline


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 rock."

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 chorus.

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 singing style.

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 reviewer.

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.

Track listing:
1. Decline
2. Bad Luck
3. Joys In Regret
4. Waste
5. Sky Deal
6. Invaders
7. In The Yard
8. Narcolepsy
9. Sanitized Toilet Life
10. Gut Junk
11. Feel Free To Fit

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