“We hope that this album contributes meaningfully as a fresh interpretation of the genre that can inspire others to keep coming back for more. Because we’ve got lots more we’re busy digging up.” – Hope Hole
I’m not ashamed to admit it: I’ve always been drawn to The Cure, The Smiths, all sorts of moody meanderings from the 80’s. I can’t say I was into it, but it’s a style of music I appreciated as an outsider to a bunch of outsiders. The melancholy, forlorn stylings of people in their twenties acting out like they’re in their sixties and drowning in, you know, “The Feels.”
It’s darn appealing at times. So, I guess it was only a matter of time before two guys from Toledo (I went to high school a few miles away, in Fremont) heard a similar sensibility and decided to meld it with “Doom.” Add some punk/hard core and a twist of Oingo Boingo for the heck of it, and we have a recording oddly out of our time and awkwarly defining it.
This is evocative, emotional stuff. Beautiful Doom is an odd mix of styles and production that somehow nails the essence of Doom. I’m not sure exactly who this is going to appeal to, but dammit I sure like it. A lot.
I’d pick out a favorite tune or highlight, but I really can’t. They’re all so different…yet another departure from traditional Doom. All I can tell you is that the album is eccentric and moody as hell, and absolutely defies my ability to describe it. It’s fascinating. I hope it finds an audience that’s willing to toss any sense of tradition out the window. If you need traditional, homogenized and predictable music, this is not the album for you.
If you need a break from power chords and mystical musings from Mammoths and Goats and don’t mind some quirky mashups of almost every sub genre of rock since 1981, this is for you. In fact, for a select group of adventurous souls, this might make your Top 10 for the year and wind up on half a dozen of your playlists.
Another thing: I don’t claim to have “golden ears” or anything like that, but the Hi Rez version on Bandcamp is one of the few recordings where I hear a distinct difference in quality from the 320 Kbps version I got for the review. You may not notice a difference, but I’d be VERY interested on feedback from other people who give this gem a chance.
Speaking of Bandcamp, this whole whopper of a release is Name Your Own Price as I write this up. I mean, c’mon, man. A couple bucks for an experience unlike any other that I’m aware of in the Heavy Underground? That’s like the dollar menu at 2 am: Score!
If you’re still not convinced, then check out their YouTube:
Buy it now- thank me later…
3 thoughts on “Holy Toledo, Beautiful Doom by Hope Hole”
Hey wow, how rad is this? Both Mike and I are actually originally from Fremont, Ohio! Thanks very much for this encouraging and thoughtful review. Hearing this kind of feedback is just the coolest!
How connected are you to the local Fremont scene?
Oh not at all man. Mike graduated from Fremont Ross in ’94, after which he moved to Bowling Green where he’s been since. I moved away from Fremont back in junior high, and also ended up in BG after high school, then moved to Toledo in the early 00’s. Our respective, separate bands played BG/Toledo, and elsewhere for years and years but never really Fremont I guess. How’s the scene there? Now that we’re both in our mid-40’s with young kids we don’t get out much anymore. But who knows what the future holds!