EP REVIEW: Fort Hope – Manne of Lawe
Get ready to hear your new earworm lyric, “that’s the way the river flows.” Go on, try and get it out of your head after one listen to the opening song of Fort Hope’s new EP Manne of Lawe.
Considering they only rose from the ashes of My Passion two years ago, for Fort Hope to keep churning out EPs and mini albums like there’s no tomorrow could be risky. A constant stream of new material might lead fans to wonder why they don’t just make a full length and you’d be forgiven for a lack of enthusiasm for new releases if you know there’s always another around the corner.
Their success, however, suggests that’s definitely not the case and the three – technically four – tracks here are a solid addition to an ever-expanding catalogue. The dominant drums and blasting, powerful vocals of Ode To You (Troubles) have all the tropes of Infinity On High era Fall Out Boy; but despite its unrelenting melody, it doesn’t have the same complexities or instant likeability as some of their previous efforts.
In contrast, the understated Come Clean is the unexpected gem of the lot. Although written as the quieter, ballad of the EP, at just over four minutes long it’s a shame it’s not a little longer and ends far too abruptly. With the defiant, repeated lyrics and the tremors in Jon Gaskin’s lead vocals, it’s an emotive rock song at its finest with a cutting crescendo and hopeful message. The semi-acoustic, “alternative” version of That’s The Way The River Flows is, in comparison, a slightly bland end to the EP. You could do away with it altogether and still have a polished, exciting record to release.
There’s potential here for something really magical to happen; but there’s not enough substance for the listener to be fully invested in what the band have to say. Although it might not ignite a spark in anyone who isn’t a fan of Fort Hope already and their best work can be found elsewhere, there are some sublime moments to look out for in among the radio-friendly, British pop rock that make delving in to Manne of Lawe well worth your time.
Standout Track: Come Clean
For Fans Of: My Passion, Mallory Knox, You Me At Six
Written by: Kathryn Black