Hope Dies Last

Written by: TL on 04/02/2009 14:17:08

Considering how the Finnish dudes in Jermaine claim to be inspired by such honourable American alt-rockers as Jimmy Eat World, Sunny Day Real Estate, At The Drive-In and Weezer, it is a bit odd to find out how much they still manage to sound like Scandinavian pop-rock on their debut album "Hope Dies Last". An album I find to be more similar to the sound of the neighbouring Swedish bands The Ark and Kid Down, although without the same cheese or the attitude of either, while fellow appreciators of Finnish rock could also take them for a much less exposive version of Disco Ensemble I suppose.

However you draw your comparisons, Jermaine's music remains the same though. Up-beat songs build around simplistic and catchy guitar licks and traditional pop-song structures. In fact, while I'm throwing references around anyway, I guess I could share the feeling, that if singer Petri Mäkelä had a British accent instead of a Scandinavian on, this album would be almost identical to that of Britain's Kids In Glass Houses (Heck, it is anyway!). Readers who have been with us for a while might remember that I didn't exactly buy into the hype around that album, and a long way down the road, Jermaine's "Hope Dies Last" suffers from the same basic problems. It's simply too pop and not enough rock. The melodies are too simple, the choruses are too shallow and the songs are too samey. It's the kind of music you'd appreciate if you're a kid who's just taking his first steps into the world of rock, only to forget it later on when you've found out how rich music 'real' rock bands can actually produce.

So what you get is five tracks in a row that are pretty much indistinguishable from one another, then the obligatory ballad, then another song straight after the formula, then ONE single track where the tempo is pushed up and there's some attitude to trace (the title track). Then follows another clone before we finally get to the album's single "Note To Self", which boasts the guitar riff that is indeed the least forgetable, but really that doesn't say much, and in the end we're sent off by another ballad. If you didn't quite catch it from the phrasing, my opinion is that precious little of all this is killer rather than filler, and while there's nothing technically horrible or distasteful on offer here, there's really nothing interesting to come for either, and I don't see why anyone would listen to "Hope Dies Last" rather than the band's that inspired it.


Download: Way Out, Hope Dies Last, Note To Self,
For The Fans Of: The Ark, Kid Down, Disco Ensemble, Kids In Glass Houses.

Release Date: 20.08.2008
GAEA Records

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