This is the first review in my two-part series on Canadian releases with some rather seriously weird-ass production, (the second of which is Smallman Records?Guy Smiley release, 慉lkaline?. 慖t抯 Not My Fault You抮e Ugly?is contains some fantastic melodic skate punk that works wonders in introducing a fantastic new band in the melodic punk army. While at times it is utterly sophomoric in its charm, it is so damn well executed, that I cannot help but kick out the melodic jams on many an occasion with this one. But what the [内容被过滤，请注意论坛文明] is going on behind the knobs.
If you are lucky enough to score a copy of this (and you should), you will undoubtedly ask yourself during the first song, if the production team has recently worked with Napalm Death or someone on Relapse. The guitars are beyond bottomed out. They sound like a [内容被过滤，请注意论坛文明]ing grindcore band, yet in the foreground are some incredibly melodic vocals that, thankfully lead the listener on the intended melody. But damn! I don抰 know exactly what role the band played in the mixing of this thing, but this was an exercise in how to make a perfectly good band sound like MxPx playing covers of Extreme Noise Terror. Musically, Hope are awesome in their ability to write hooky, speedy pop-tinged punk. And the song "Carolyn Manson" is one of utter brilliance. But if I had the cash (no匢 don抰), I would buy up every copy of this disc, light them on fire in front of the studio, and proceed to bring in Andy Ernst or Darian Rundall and allow them to personally beat the previous production team senseless. Perhaps I am sugar-coating things a bit. But this band is way too good to sound like their guitars were recorded through one of those miniature Peavey practice amps that you can hold in your palm, operate on a 9-volt battery and make Simon and Garfunkel sound like Carcass. Hope are extremely proficient at the hook, and quite decent lyrics wise, but they do have the occasional lapse in judgement that results in [内容被过滤，请注意论坛文明]ed-up sophomoric crap like "Who Farted?". I mean, unless these guys formed in grade school, and that was one of their early songs, they are suffering from the same damn identity crisis that plagues so many bands these days. Do we want to be introspective and relevant? Or do we shoot for the kid at the store who looks at the song titles and just [内容被过滤，请注意论坛文明]ing has to hear that "Who Farted?" song after he and his friends spin some Jerky Boys records. Note to bands: You are either Guttermouth or Strung Out卌ause aside from NOFX and Green Day, that combo plate doesn抰 bode well. It just takes all the relevance out of anything serious you just said. I mean, face it, if you are singing about the girl of your dreams leaving your ass, all serious and introspective, chances are she didn抰 come back cause you followed your emotional outpouring with "Who Farted?". Sweet jesus, does this really need to be said? You don抰 hear Barry White singing "Who Farted?"卆nd he gets the ladies and the "spicy chicken baby." I have listened to Hope on numerous occasions over the past month or so, and it has become painfully apparent that these guys could be forerunners in the realm of speedy pop-infused punk, had it not been for the buzzsaw production and occasional schoolboy lapse. The vocals on this are some of the best harmonizing and well-phrased sounds I have ever heard in the genre. And if these guys were backing up those amazing vocals with various kitchen appliances this would be understandable. But sadly, it is not the case.
Hope are ripe with talent and swelling with catchiness. It is strictly a matter of sound that keeps this disc from the realm of essential to pop-punk purists. But if you can look to strictly the songs without hindering your enjoyment with that pesky ol?production thing, you will find that Hope are simply fantastic. By the way卼he albums ridiculous title (of which you may have noticed I refuse to retype), is by no means a sign of the majority of the contents inside. This is not Guttermouth or Beefcake. And there is wit and charm amidst many of the non-sophomoric ventures. Just look for the band. You will find Hope to be a victim of production cruelty and on a much smaller scale, their own idiocy. And remember, it cases such as these, it is not the victims fault. Just turn on your blender, set it to puree, and join in for some very well written stuff.
- Michael Farr
01-[内容被过滤，请注意论坛文明] The Millenium-Hope-It's Not My Fault You're Ugly.mp3
02-Victory Or Misery-Hope-It's Not My Fault You're Ugly.mp3
03-Heard It All Before-Hope-It's Not My Fault You're Ugly.mp3
04-Lemon-Hope-It's Not My Fault You're Ugly.mp3
05-Short But Sweet-Hope-It's Not My Fault You're Ugly.mp3
06-Perfect Shot-Hope-It's Not My Fault You're Ugly.mp3
07-Carolyn Manson-Hope-It's Not My Fault You're Ugly.mp3
08-Downer-Hope-It's Not My Fault You're Ugly.mp3
09-Not Again-Hope-It's Not My Fault You're Ugly.mp3
10-Squid-Hope-It's Not My Fault You're Ugly.mp3
11-Michella-Hope-It's Not My Fault You're Ugly.mp3
12-Legohead-Hope-It's Not My Fault You're Ugly.mp3
13-Online-Hope-It's Not My Fault You're Ugly.mp3
14-Btc-535-Hope-It's Not My Fault You're Ugly.mp3
15-Too Cool-Hope-It's Not My Fault You're Ugly.mp3
16-Treasure Girl-Hope-It's Not My Fault You're Ugly.mp3
17-Number 24-Hope-It's Not My Fault You're Ugly.mp3
18-Bonzo Goes To Bitburg-Hope-It's Not My Fault You're Ugly.mp3
19-Meathead-Hope-It's Not My Fault You're Ugly.mp3