It's awfully ironic for a band to name their second release Endnote, seeing as to how the sophomore full-length seems to literally be the end note for so many bands, no matter their genre or popularity. Thankfully, this Boston-based band has found enough tricks up their sleeves to not make a horrible album by any means. Utilizing their Boston hardcore roots -- which means plenty of breakneck-fast drumming, furious metal-influenced hardcore guitars, and screamy vocals -- the Hope Conspiracy rise above areas where their Beantown contemporaries, such as In My Eyes, failed. This is primarily done by taking those roots and utilizing influences such as Deadguy and Black Flag. The Hope Conspiracy aren't afraid to appear a little on-edge, slightly neurotic, and definitely driven. While many of the New England hardcore bands come across as dry and emotionless, the Hope Conspiracy reek of angst and bitterness, and while many of their personal, introspective lyrics may come across as clich‚, the musical change-ups throughout the album don't allow things to become too boring. With 12 songs clocking in at around a half-hour, this is all over before you know it and it's safe to say that while the divergence was more than most hardcore bands can speak of, a tad more might've been nice. Overall, Endnote is far from a sophomore slump. These guys are keeping their heads up and ably moving forward. If Endnote doesn't make you wanna get back into the pit, it's hard telling what will. ~ Kurt Morris
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