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25 Years Of Hopeless Records: A History

Jack Rogers
Jack Rogers 27 July 2018 at 14.45

2018 marks 25 years since Hopeless Records opened their doors and started its journey to becoming one of the scene's most influential labels. To celebrate we thought it only right to look back over some of the most iconic albums that the label has gifted us.

1993 – 2000
Hopeless Records started out as a pure passion project. A desire to put out punk records for the fans by the fans. Though very different to the sort of output from the label in 2018, it was no less relevant and vital.

The first release that would kick off the legacy would be ‘11oz’, a raw, scrappy and utterly infectious 7’ from the legends that are Guttermouth.

With word out about a new label, bands would flock to be part of the revolution.

Highlights of the labels first 7 years include the gruff ‘Behind Bars’ from 88 Fingers Louie, the ska classic ‘Evildoers Beware’ by Mustard Plug, Dillinger Four’s iconic debut ‘Midwestern Songs Of The Americas’ and the politically volatile ’All Fall Down’ by Against All Authority.

2000 – 2005
A new millennium brought a new wave of sound and a new crop of worldbeaters for Hopeless to stamp their name on.

Avenged Sevenfold introduced themselves to the masses with a metalcore crunch on ‘Sounding The Seventh Trumpet’ and further cemented their riotous reputation with ‘Waking The Fallen’. They then went on to prove themselves as hard rock royalty with ‘City Of Evil’. The rest they say is history.

Thrice launched an emo-rock empire with the double header of debut ‘Identity Crisis’ and now blueprint of the genre ‘The Illusion Of Safety’.

Amber Pacific also trusted the label with the release of their debut ‘The Possibility And The Promise’. A sign of pop-punk to come. 

Hopeless was beginning to fill up its roster with exciting, fresh and overall brilliant bands, and the best was yet to come...

These were the years that helped Hopeless become the powerhouse of pop-punk that it is today.

Signing a small band called All Time Low and releasing their debut EP ‘Put Up Or Shut Up’ pricked up plenty of ears before 2007’s ‘So Wrong, It’s Right’ completely blew them off. 2009 brought ‘Nothing Personal’ and total mainstream and scene domination. The band and label’s relationship is one of the most wonderful in the whole of alternative music.

The Dangerous Summer made misery sound like a sunrise with their debut album ‘Reach For The Sun’. 

And There For Tomorrow brought energy and empathy with ‘A Little Faster’.

Elsewhere Avenged Sevenfold continued their rise to the top with their self-titled opus and The Human Abstract made post-hardcore weird again with ‘Midheaven’.

Pop-punk continued to thrive and Hopeless made sure that they were the only name that mattered.

All Time Low released the nothing short of brilliant ‘Don’t Panic!’

We Are The In Crowd filled us with pure joy with ‘Best Intentions’ and ‘Weird Kids’

Yellowcard made us all want to live by the sea with ‘When You’re Through Thinking, Say Yes’ and ‘Southern Air’.

They also snapped up a small UK band called Neck Deep who had been making waves all over the Internet. From the reissue of ‘Rain In July’ through to the breakthrough brilliance of ‘Life’s Not Out To Get You’, Hopeless have been there every step of the way.

And not forgetting that Enter Shikari joined the party and brought the strobes with their third and fourth albums ‘A Flashflood Of Colour’ and ‘The Mindsweep’

If you were riding with Hopeless, you were doing something right. Be it as the album that a band would break through on or just legends of the scene wanting to work closely with them, Hopeless was the place to be.

2015 – Present day
The last three years have seen the label not just prove they are the first port of call if you want to find exciting new bands, but also a company that’s still not done when it comes to pushing the boundaries.

After Neck Deep opened the floodgates for the UK, the likes of Trash Boat were picked up and proved that pop-punk can take on many different forms.

The label has also become the home for Trophy Eyes’ journey from frantic hardcore punks ('Mend, Move On') to careful and considered alt-rock heroes (‘The American Dream').

The same can be said for Hundredth who used the label to remould themselves into a forward thinking and unique outfit on 'Rare' 

And Circa Survive’s sporadic and life affirming post hardcore stylings brought a little sprinkle of quirk to the roster with 'Blue Sky Noise' and 'The Amulet'.

The label has also recently set out their new incentive for spreading into the heavy regions with the signing of Glasgow riff monkeys Lotus Eater. A statement of intent that shows that no genre is off limits from becoming part of the family.

So there you have it. All of the reasons why Hopeless is such an iconic label and has been for a quarter of a century.

Who knows what the future holds, but we know that it's certaintly going to be bright. 

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