Jan 16, 2013 09:55 AM WV Sound
Keeping a beat in the Mountain State
Ohio Valley Hardcore Band Offers a Positive Outlet
In the upper Ohio Valley near Wheeling, river water and gray skies frame the landscape, but for some local teens, hardcore music (a high-energy form of punk rock), offers an escape. For Dillon Richardson, drummer of the band In Hope, the local music scene is an outlet for youth. “These shows allow a much needed break in the regular routine of school, parents, work, et cetera,” Dillon says. “They open the door to a fast-paced, intense, and beautiful world of music.”
Along with Dillon, In Hope is bassist Levi Hill, guitarist Austin Wright, and vocalist Brady Fluharty. All have attended shows in the area since their early teens, and Levi and Austin were formally members of popular local band The Next Mourning. They started In Hope in August 2011, and Levi says the band wants the new project to offer something positive. “So many other bands are all about negativity and partying; we wanted to make something that represented us, which was positivity and brotherhood,” he says. “We’re not out to make it big or become huge rock stars. We just want to give kids something to do.”
The band’s sound is somewhat typical of a hardcore band, but there’s a spirit in their recordings that makes the work relatable and human. The members listen to a variety of music, but Austin says bands like Reign Supreme, Terror, Backtrack, Have Heart, and Expire inspire them more directly.
In Hope plays basement shows mainly, but also frequents the local Hill House venue, previously Limestone Elementary, in Limestone, West Virginia. The renovated school hosts local shows regularly and has become a hangout of sorts. Levi says he’s played on some larger stages, but the intimacy of a smaller crowd is exciting. The tight squeeze and low light of a basement also exaggerate the band’s speed and sound.
The band hopes to hit the open road at some point, but for now entertains the kids at home and riffs on its ever-present theme of brotherhood. For Levi, Dillon, Austin, and Brady, the local scene is more than just a collective of bands—it’s a lifestyle. “This whole Ohio Valley scene is special just because it’s mostly made up of close friends,” says Levi. “Beyond the music, it has provided us the opportunity to meet people and gain friendships that will last forever.”
Catch In Hope at Steel Valley Lanes in Weirton on January 26, 2013, as the band performs a Sandy Hook benefit show.