Two O’Clock Courage – Heres to Hoping…
Record Label: Unsigned
Release Date: May 20, 2011
Heres To Hoping… is the sophomore EP from Connecticut pop-punk band Two O’Clock Courage, who over the past two years have given their all for their band, and have never said die (as sung throughout the album). After touring throughout 2010, members James Davidson (Vocals), Brian Blackmore (Bass), Mike Ruotolo (Drums), Rico Ruotolo and Jay Tyler (Guitars), have come back stronger than ever with their new EP filled to the brim with improved lyrics, awesome vocals and all-around great musicianship.
The EP kicks off with the semi-breakdown in "Call Me Converted", which finds the band reminiscing on their past EP Sequenced From the Bloodstream and appreciating their fans for supporting them over the past year. "Call Me Converted" transitions immediately into "Ruthless '87", which again shows off their love and appreciation for those that support them ("Our friends know all our songs/And they’re still wearing our shows' wristbands"), and calling out those who keep trying to bring the band down. This is the main theme throughout the EP and it becomes apparent within the first few songs that the band as a whole has rapidly improved from their first EP from the crunchy guitar riffs, tight drumming, and Davidson’s improved vocals, which can be compared to Patrick Stump (Fall Out Boy) and Matty Arsenault (A Loss For Words) at times.
Two O’Clock Courage haven't completely grown out of the synth-infused pop-punk that was found on their debut EP, the synth and dancy elements are used sparingly throughout, although the quintet do take a trip back to the style displayed on the previous EP with the synthy "Brand New Gold", which features some of the best lyrics the band have written, and the heavy pop-punk of "We Were Evergreen Oldboys", which features the heaviest breakdown on the album. It’s this restraint and lyrical growth that make Heres to Hoping… a real step up for the band.
"Late another evening she’s casually faded/Wearing it well cause she’s a lady/Under the sultry matte of summer/And the allusion of Great Gatsby/Saying she’s sick of me, but she’s lying on my floor" comes from the standout track on the EP, "Wyoming", an infectious acoustic ballad different from anything the band have ever done before, that slowly builds up to the full band crescendo and an amazing verse that makes me sing-along and hit replay again and again. The final song on the EP, "Once More Unto the Breach, Dear Friends", is a song that will become a fan favorite at live shows with an incredibly catchy chorus about following their dreams with a DIY attitude. The song ends with a great slowed-down outro featuring dual vocals, a guitar solo and reference to lyrics throughout the EP, making it the perfect closer. And I mean that, "Once More..." is one of my favourite songs to come out in 2011, if you're thinking about checking out this band listen to this song.
From their enthusiasm about music, to their appreciation of fans, Heres To Hoping… is a mature follow up that tightened up everything good about the band and increased it ten-fold. Whether you love pop-punk, pop, hardcore or just awesome vocals, you will love Two O’Clock Courage’s fiery EP.