For an established band to switch vocalists, especially one as enigmatic as Dave Jakes, is no easy task. Since grafting in margins for years to release the iconic 'Day's War' in 2014, Lonely the Brave have been through a lot together. Their second album followed quickly but was a muddy affair musically and lyrically and hinted at the struggles behind the scenes. Now Jakes is back out there releasing music on his own terms and the remaining members of Lonely the Brave are hurtling forwards with new vocalist Jack Bennett taking control both on the mic and behind the mixing desk.
Recorded at weekends when day jobs and family life permitted, 'The Hope List' finds the band surging back and sounding invigorated by the hardships they've overcome to get here. 'Bound' is a vintage track that should assuage any fans worrying that they'll have lost their way between records and frontmen. Rather than try and ape Jakes' booming vocal and lyrical idiosyncrasies, Bennett offers a leaner approach, with melody first and foremost, the rhythm section proving a formidable engine no matter who takes the spotlight of the mic stand. Mark Trotter's chiming guitar lines still take the songs to stratosphere, the choruses of 'Distant Light' soaring in trademark fashion. It's good to have you back, guys.