Let’s be honest, if I were to tell you that right now there’s a small band, from a small town, in the middle of nowhere, way up in Northern Canada, and that this band recently finished recording an album that just so happens to be one of the best records I’ve heard in a while, you might have a hard time believing me. Well, Fort McMurray’s Abandin All Hope have an album set for release on New Year’s Day. It’s called Final Act Of Selflessness, and I strongly suggest checking it out on their bandcamp page, because it’s a killer record.
From front to back, it’s fantastic, and, although it doesn’t label itself as a pop-punk record, the album somehow captures everything I love about the genre, dismisses all the cheesy clichés that I hate, while adding some rock and ska elements that work incredibly well together. The lengthy, thirteen song tracklist features a number of solid lyrics, catchy hooks, as well as some harmonized guitar riffs and solos; it is very reminiscent of what Strung Out does.
The fast drums help solidify the whole 90s skate punk feel, while the talented lead singer’s range gives their sound a more modern, melodic twist. The band’s frontman is one of the better rock vocalists I’ve heard in recent memory, and his dynamic leads, combined with the band’s strong backup harmonies, make for a great combination that I’ll never get tired of hearing. As we move further down the tracklist, songs start to feature just a taste of clean, upstroke guitar strumming; something that, as a lover of ska, makes me a lot happier than I’d like to admit. Songs like “Banana,” and “Another Year,” are of my favourites for that very reason. It adds a nice flavour to a style of music that we’ve all heard so many times before, and keeps the whole album fresh.
If you’re a fan of pop-punk, or punk rock in general, and are looking for something that stands out among the rest, I’d strongly recommend that the first thing you do after waking up on your friend’s couch, thirsty and hungover from crazy New Year’s Eve partying, is buy this record. It’s a great one, and I’m looking forward to see what Abandin All Hope does next. As much as the formula they have now works, I don’t imagine it staying as fresh as it currently is over the course of multiple albums. I hope to see them expand on all the genres they’ve touched on, and push themselves as musicians to mix it up some more.
Written by Mathieu Perrier
*edited by Danielle Kenedy