It's year-end list season, and we've been posting a bunch of lists, as well as reading lots of other people's lists, which means we've been coming across some great albums that we regrettably missed earlier this year. One of my new favorite discoveries of 2020 is Hollow Hope, the debut full-length by Denver hardcore band FAIM, who previously released a demo (2017), a 7" (2018), and a split with Discourage and Lift (2019).
I've seen FAIM get a few comparisons to Punch and Modern Life Is War, both of which I hear a lot of too, and they made this album with Punch collaborator Jack Shirley, who's also worked with Deafheaven, Gouge Away, Loma Prieta, Oathbreaker, State Faults, and tons of other great bands, and who's a perfect fit for FAIM's sound. Hollow Hope exists somewhere between the refreshing simplicity of hardcore, the desperation of screamo, and the brooding atmosphere of post-hardcore, not really fitting neatly into any of those subgenres while appealing to fans of all of them. The album's as dark and heavy as it is fast and exhilarating.