With new vocalist Jack Bennett (also of Grumble Bee) in tow and a turbulent few years behind them, Lonely The Brave have returned with their third full-length, ‘The Hope List’.
Straight to the point and boasting multiple melodies, ‘Bound’ sees Bennett work against slabs of guitar and weaving synths to deliver a performance that combines smooth melodies and soaring hooks. Compact and wasting little time, Lonely The Brave hit the ground running. Pushing the momentum with ‘Distant Light’ and ‘Bright Eyes’ respectively, moving around swimming melodies, driving leads, snapping drum beats, and dirty riffs, the quintet embrace a variety of styles in rapid succession.
With a renewed vigour behind them, Lonely The Brave at times move away from the melodic rock that they’re known for. Driven by Bennett‘s dynamic performance and highlighting the fragility of a majority of the lyrics on the record, ‘The Hope List’ moves through spinning finger-picking, piano melodies, and vocal harmonies to venture into new soundscapes.
Picking the energy back up, ‘Keeper’ sees guitarists Mark Trotters and Ross Smithwick take charge with chunky chords and post-hardcore flourishes. Urgent throughout, the track moves through crushing choruses, unnerving verses, and a bridge that experiments with texture to become one of the record’s highlights.
The same can be said for ‘Open Door’, which, whilst more melodic than ‘Keeper’, plays with swimming melodies, driving choruses, and a screaming guitar solo to create a track that continues to unfurl. Not afraid to push the focus into various areas, ‘Open Door’ exudes a new confidence for the group.
Whilst there may be moments where ‘The Hope List’ dips in energy, when it hits the mark, it does so in a blistering fashion. With a record filled with overcoming obstacles, it seems fitting that ‘The Harrow’ concludes it. Whilst Lonely The Brave may have had to find themselves, ‘The Harrow’ shows no signs of it.
Filled with hooks, dynamic twists and turns, and employing a bold conclusion, ‘The Harrow’ shows the best elements of the quintet in an organic fashion. Granted, ‘The Hope List’ may not be the perfect Lonely The Brave album, but it’s a record that many could foresee being made. A strong return for the group, ‘The Hope List’ hints at a much bigger future for the quintet.