‘Asleep’ is the second release from Southend-on-Sea based five-piece Hospitals and much like their debut self-titled EP, showcases a melodic hardcore sound in the style of Defeater. This brief three-track effort bristles with angry potential, an urgent and powerful sound. The sound is part traditional hardcore but with obvious metal and screamo influences. It is a well-worn combination that many bands pull off adequately without being truly remarkable. Hospitals utilize the hybrid with mixed results with a promising trio of songs.
Title track ‘Asleep’ opens in melancholy fashion before bursting into a three minute hardcore assault. It is listenable enough whilst being mostly forgettable. So far, so unremarkable. ‘Chivalry’ is again an angry, two minute burst of the band’s melodic hardcore sound and again is perfectly listenable without being truly memorable. They are powerful songs that show some potential without ever truly wowing you.
An average EP, however, is saved by the final song of the trio, ‘Grace.’ Ithas the desperate, desolate vocals, epic guitar sound and brooding intensity of La Dispute at their best and is a track that stands up to multiple listens. It is more accomplished musically than the other two tracks. Clocking in at six minutes long, it makes the other two tracks appear like filler tracks for this epic dénouement. It feels the most realised effort on the EP and it’s a shame that the previous two songs appear only in the shadow of ‘Grace.’ A real highlight and a glimpse of the potential that this band have.
Melodic as well as angry, jealous and jaded but with a strong and determined sound, Hospitals have produced a decent EP here that is exceptional in places with stand out track ‘Grace’ especially worth a listen. ’Asleep’ does not sound like a fully rounded EP as such, more a glorified single, and the two sub-par filler tracks only serve to dilute the quality of the main event, which is a great slice of modern, melodic hardcore. A good start for a band with a bright future.
‘Asleep’ by Hospitals is available now on Dog Knights Productions/Tangled Talk Records.
Words by Tom White