The Disappeared - A Realization of Hope
Record Label: I Hate Punk Rock Records
Release Date: September 2007
There are plenty of bands out there who are not doing anything particularly original. Nonetheless, a few of these bands somehow manage to stand out from the crowd and gain a certain amount of respect; a recent example of this would be No Trigger’s Canyoneer as well as any album by The Lawrence Arms. The reasoning behind this varies, of course, but generally what it seems to come down to is the band’s obvious love for the music they’re playing bleeds through to their music.
About a week ago, I reviewed a band that I lambasted for not showing any sort of ambition in their otherwise adequate album; they were the perfect example of a band that seemed to take pleasure in blending in with the crowd. Which is why I was pleased to find a record in the mail a few days after that helped to prove my point by giving me a great example of a band that falls into the other category. Both the band I previously reviewed and The Disappeared play a similar type of music: punk-rock infused with a bit of hardcore and metal. However, The Disappeared’s A Realization of Hope is a 7-inch which shows a lot of potential for such a young band, albeit it is also quite obvious that they have a long way to go before reaching it.
Along with the record is a clipping where vocalist Brad Jokerst is quoted saying, “We want to make you think, but at the same time, we want you to point a finger in the air, shake a fist and sing along.” As if to prove this point, Side A features the song “If you don't have the passion, you don't have anything.” The lyrics aren't particularly insightful but they certainly do not hurt the song, which is more than a lot of bands can say. Luckily, the vocals are backed up by competent musicians and interesting vocals. Jokerst’s voice leans much more towards the nasal sound that’s reminiscent of a band such as No Motiv, rather than the gravelly Hot Water Music-esque vocals I’d expect. Surprisingly they work, and rather than sounding somber the song is a lot of fun, though at times the music does tend to drown out the vocals. And make no mistake: though at first it may seem like a simple punk song, there is actually a lot going on musically thanks to the band’s ulterior influences.
Side B’s song, “Tall Cans and Parking Lots,” is just as fun and angry as the previous song. So much so, in fact, that if I had not heard a few of their other songs, I would be a bit worried the band would not be able to keep things fresh if they were to release a full-length album soon. As it stands, this is a 7-inch, so not much more can be expected from it. The Disappeared are definitely a band whose future releases I will be keeping an eye out for, though they still have a long way to go. Perhaps most notably, I’d like to hear a bit more emotion in Jokerst’s voice. However, the potential and love for what they're doing is otherwise shown quite clearly in the two songs on A Realization of Hope.