It Could End Tomorrow: It Feels Like Hope
The iconic picture adorning the cover of It Feels Like Hope shows the lone Casino Pier roller coaster, washed out to sea in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. New Jersey still feels the effects of that devastating storm, and so the profound imagery resonates even deeper with our residents. Much like the “Jersey Strong” motto that rose up in response to Sandy, the Lacey Township-based hardcore band It Could End Tomorrow embodies what it means to be from New Jersey, with their hopeful, hard-working attitude. They even close sets in Seaside with amped-up renditions of Bon Jovi’s “It’s My Life.”
Every song on It Feels Like Hope has blistering guitar attacks, machine-like double bass drum, and the steady backing of the bass guitar, making a compact rhythm section. However, it’s the combination of Gary Reid on vocals and Derek Verge on keyboards that really sets this album apart. While most Metalcore bands have separate vocalists for clean vocals and screaming, Reid takes on both jobs himself. On songs like “Cloverfield,” his clean vocals create an appealing tension against the distorted music. Providing background vocal harmonies, Verge also contributes swelling keyboards to the mix. Often, it’s the two together that drive the songs forward, such as on the last track “January.”
It Feels Like Hope offers up just what it says, and it’s the band’s chemistry that makes this all work. With the interweaving melodies throughout the rough aggression, it is a sense of faith that makes it out of the album. It’s on “Characters” that this subject could best be exemplified; over hardcore riffage, Reid intones, “We all make mistakes/Life is a struggle/One I’m willing to face.” Even those unfamiliar with the hardcore genre can only leave the record with a sense of raw optimism, like the pulsing idealism currently running through our state.