Singer Gavin Butler once told Rock Sound that he wanted The Blackout to be the biggest band in the world. Without sounding unnecessarily jaded, and not to knock the conviction and passion, it was far from the first time we had heard someone in his position say such a thing. At the time the sextet were still promoting second album ‘The Best In Town’, it was a record that had promise and moments but ultimately failed to deliver an experience that matched the live reputation the band had developed over their years together. His desire seemed admirable but, if we were to be frank, the goal looked largely unobtainable on the basis of the musical evidence provided. However, two years on from that moment ‘Hope’ arrives and becomes the band’s first legitimate step towards the kind of global appeal and dominance Butler discussed. The size, scale and ambition of the album is both immediate and impossible to ignore. While some might snipe that the dynamics are obvious, the melodies easy to follow and the lyrics positioned well in the hinterland between the personal and the universal, those elements are the record’s strengths. The 11 songs are built with intention and purpose, designed to bring out the best in a large crowd or field and as such, they deliver. In spades. ‘Hope’ is the soundtrack to the summer you’ve not yet had, and from here it sounds like it might be the best one yet.