Metalcore is a genre with plenty of fuel left in the tank. There is a constant stream of up-’n’-coming bands snapping at the heels of ever- changing genre leaders, and Reading’s High Hopes are just one of those upstarts. So, what makes them deserving of a seat at the top table?
If we start playing stadium rock two albums down the line, so be it!
“We don’t try and pigeonhole ourselves. I guess we do come under that [metalcore] genre, but we just write what we want to listen to,” says guitarist Nathan Pryor. “If we start playing stadium rock two albums down the line, then so be it!”
His brother, drummer Daryl Pryor, agrees. “We try not to worry about that kind of thing,” he says. “At the end of the day, some people are going to like it, and some people aren’t.”
It’s that devil-may-care attitude that led the band to fire off an email to Russ Russell “on a whim”. Far from being relegated to his spam folder, Russ liked what he heard.
“He emailed back saying he would love to record us,” explains Daryl. “He’s recorded a lot of bands that are very different to us, so it was cool to get his take on our sound.”
High Hopes’ sound strikes a deft balance between familiarity and freshness and is definitely on the dark and melodic side of things, with a few retro-inspired riffs thrown in. The album is, in Daryl’s words, a lament on “how we’re destroying the planet. The whole reason behind [the title] Sights And Sounds is about the things we get to see when we’re out and about, and if you don’t look after it, it’ll all be gone.”
Behind that gloomy but unfortunately rather accurate observation is a true desire to make a difference. High Hopes are currently seeking out an environmental charity for a potential partnership – the details of which they haven’t worked out yet – as well as being in talks with Gig Buddies, a charity that provides chaperones for disabled gig-goers.
There may be plenty of metalcore to choose from already, but there’s always room for more decent blokes.
Sights And Sounds is out on February 5 via Victory