Various Artists – The New Hope 2xLP (Smog Veil)

Alongside They Pelted Us with Rocks and Garbage and Cleveland Confidential, this is THE comp to have from Cleveland. Unlike those other two, The New Hope was 100% hardcore, and remains one of the kings of regional first/second wave HC documents. Scrappy and memorable, the eleven bands here play off slight variations on one another, but every last one of them is tough and intense, from Outerwear’s inept, slow grind to the fast, intense rippers like the Guns and Zero Defex (whose “Drop the A-Bomb On Me” is a classic), to Brit-sounding thugs like the Offbeats, from whom you can draw a line to more modern Clevo attack squads like the Inmates and Cider. Smog Veil is a label known to dig up the past in a somewhat embarrassing fashion – hey man, do you like shitty Photoshop and green goblin UFOs with your Rocket from the Tombs reissue? COMIN’ RIGHT UP! – but here the environmentally-respectful imprint keeps it in their pants, design-wise, only adding an outsized logo where Tom Dark’s Hit & Run imprint once resided. Better still, they tacked on a whole extra LP of tracks that were submitted but didn’t make it onto the initial 1983 release, and the MP3 download that comes with the record contains even more. This bonus material was initially omitted for space and timing concerns, because no one in their right mind would leave off such ragers like the Dark’s “Put Your Hand Through the Plastic” or the Guns’ “Preps Suck” – it’s no “Your Mistake,” but what is? Some of these offerings are even better than what turned up on the album, showing a little more diversity, the bands trying to push at the edges of hardcore without losing the speed or the aggression. Original copies of this one have always escaped me, so I am glad this one turned up. Essential, primal expression from the dejected youth of a decaying metropolis, who did it for themselves and few others – the sound of a bunch of young lives going straight down the shitter, brought to you by those who survived it. PPG’s insert copy says it best: “Thanks to: helpers. Fuck you to: hinderers.” 500 copies on brownish-purple marbled vinyl, worth every cent. (
(Doug Mosurock)

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