Hopeless Youth – Devil, Walk with Me

Such moments wrap chains of memories around the mind. Before me is a face only a day prior could speak to me and kiss with emotion, with life. My fingers run over her cold skin and I cradle her slack body, running my fingers over the black lace on the dress in which she shall rot. Her hair runs through my fingers, brittle, rooted to her scalp like flax drying in autumn, bereft of life, lacking that brightness, that smoothness I so remembered and which I can now recognize is wanting. Her lips remain full, open as if to speak, and for a moment it seems possible. How many of these moments remain, when my mind interprets her as alive, before I let her fall below me into the earth? Her eyes, in their emptiness, stare upwards through a white haze, so I run my fingers over her eyelids and close them so she appears asleep. One less sign of death. Placing a final kiss on her cold lips, she drops from my arms and all the past I shared with her is swallowed by the earth. I grasp with my hand at the necklace as a final goodbye but it slides from my fingers, disappearing with onyx tresses that wisp into blackness like the strands of a web falling from rafters. Around me is the cold earth, hardened underfoot with frost, and the trees, as dead as her arms standing silent in the cold air. My past went with her into the grave and as I consider the world around me Devil, Walk With Me.


Hopeless Youth is part of Canada’s modern hardcore scene, or, you know, the post scene, and coming from Montreal itself it should say something to you, since some consider the city to be on the underground rise. First, there was Austin, then Providence, and now, since the US is screwing itself into the ground with ridiculous behavior and no one wants to pay attention to us anymore, the focus is moving away like a symbolic hipster talking about it on Facebook. Swear to all yall, I’m leaving. Also, screw that Bush guy or something, I think he was bad. Apologies for the analogy, because it probably makes it seem like I’m about to lay the ban hammer down on this forum user, but since no one knows what forums are anymore or why I said that, I’ve just wasted more of your time, like always, and you know I only do that if an album I’m about to critique is totally awesome or totally bogus, dude.


Some reviewers have criticized this latest release from Hopeless Youth from what seems a logical standpoint. Their last one, Disgust, featured two guitarists, which of course provided a larger palette, but does not necessarily mean eliminating one of them would provide less effect, merely one less layer. It’s a valid point, but not valid criticism. This is not the old, this is the new, and it must be taken as such. In fact, in an interview, they said it themselves, stating, and I’m paraphrasing here, they started doing what they wanted. That’s usually when a band can go from accessible to transcendental (wow big word, is this a review?). Devil, Walk with Me, thus, must be considered for its current moment and not in comparison to earlier work without a valid reason. Since the aforementioned reason wasn’t valid we must thus look at Devil, Walk With Me differently. If you’ve heard hardcore, you’d know what to expect, and you’d get that out of the previous work I linked directly above. Though Hopeless Youth were on the path of innovation, they weren’t actually there yet, not until they realized they didn’t care what anyone had to say. Devil, Walk With Me develops its sound by straying further from hardcore, mixing elements of the blackened, especially via vocals that are now shrieked instead of yelled. This, though, is merely the crown on the emperor. Hopeless Youth rely on a lot of modern innovations on this one including tempo shifts that bend into other genres and aggressive chording that captures the original essence of hardcore while kicking off the Converse once and for all. Also, they’re past the interpretive dancing in place of pits, just so you know. In spite of its short length Devil, Walk With Me survives repeated listens for the simple fact they’e done what they wanted with it, even with a stripped-down lineup. Thus, any discussion of their past is pointless, this is the future. Limited release on vinyl.


Hopeless Youth Official Facebook

Written by Stanley Stepanic

Hopeless Youth: Devil, Walk With Me
Rainville Records
4.6 / 5