Letlive.
Fake History


4.0
excellent

Review

by Mark Campbell USER (12 Reviews)
June 8th, 2010 | 198 replies | 23,464 views


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: You know the other side of your pillow? This is cooler than that.

13 of 13 thought this review was well written

Where the hell did this come from?

Post-hardcore is a difficult genre to have any critical success or praise in these days. It's largely a music style where, much like punk, the later generations and offshoots just can't really touch the classic examples of the genre in innovation, style or quality in most circumstances. I mean for God's sake do any of you see a band like Funeral For A Friend or (lol) Hawthorne Heights putting out a record of artistic quality on par with the Relationship Of Commands, Worship And Tributes, Ghostship Demos, Full Collapses, Shape Of Punk To Comes, Repeaters, and The Illusion Of Safetys of the genre? Can anyone remember a record of the last few years that even comes close?

letlive.'s Fake History isn't that record. It's not a classic of the genre. It's not the most original or innovative recording ever made. But what it is is a damn good record and arguably the cream of the modern crop of post-hardcore. Listening to the band's previous work (2007's Speak Like You Talk and 2004's Exhaustion, Salt Water, And Everything In Between), it's hard to believe it's even the same band. Fake History is such a quantum leap of quality from their other stuff it's not even funny. Whereas the aforementioned records are inconsistent throughout, Fake History is a pretty fantastic listen front-to-back, showcasing a powerhouse rhythm section bolstered by a simply fantastic singer that can pretty much do anything. To say that singer Jason Aalon Butler is one of the most gifted talents in the genre is an understatement in the least. Combining the swagger, attitude and pipes of Daryl Palumbo with a sense of the melodic drama and vocal tics of Claudio Sanchez, Butler utterly dominates the proceedings.

The band, especially the rhythm section, performs masterfully throughout Fake History. Imagine Glassjaw's Justin Beck playing guitar in Poison The Well with an unrequited jazz affair and you pretty much have letlive. in a nutshell. One of the coolest aspects of the album is how the rhythms and song structures almost never repeat and constantly change throughout the song, while retaining the melodic structure and hook. Almost every song has a super catchy chorus, beset on all sides with metalcore chugs, post-hardcore abstract melodies and absolutely insane drumming. Drummer Anthony Rivera's jazz-influenced metalcore drumming brings to mind a band like Misery Signals with its slick precision and controlled intensity whereas bassist Ryan Jay Johnson shows off his love for wandering jazz lines that go off in their own melodic direction.

There are some really, really great songs on this. "The Sick, Sick 6.8 Billion" pulses with furious hardcore energy, laden with start-stops and psychotic screams, interspersed with ponderous basslines and a ridiculously infectious chorus. When Butler belts out the line "it does appear life's a bitch", you can't help but crack a huge smile at how ***ing cool it sounded. "H. Ledger" has what may be one of the sickest breakdowns ever put to tape, with "Renegade '86", "Homeless Jazz" (try not to bust a move to that beat!), "Casino Columbus" and "Day 54" being standouts. However, all of them pale in comparison to "Muther", easily the best song this band has written yet and the biggest departure from the sound of the record. The song is their masterpiece, replete with epic keyboards and a sense of grandeur, along with a fantastic guy/girl singing duet. Any of the big guys of the genre would kill to have written the chorus on this one. One of the coolest and most unexpected parts of the record is the jazzy piano waltz that comes in the song's outro, with gang vocals shouting "Don't you cry mama, we'll be ok". If there ever was one, it's a post-hardcore ballad for the ages.

As stated before, Fake History excels in how consistent its style and quality is, but at the same time it's not up to the level of the classics. Why? Well, it takes a LOT of aspects liberally from those bands and albums, albeit tastefully. Jason Aalon Butler is telling you how much he loves Daryl Palumbo every time he opens his mouth on Fake History and when it's not him it's Claudio Sanchez. The fact that he can emulate them to such a staggering degree of effectiveness says a lot about his skill, but it's still tribute more than trailblazing. Musically the weakest aspect of the album is the guitarists in that they never really have a standout moment when competing with their juggernaut of a rhythm section and a singer like Butler. While they definitely get the job done, there were a lot of times where I wondered whether having two guitarists was really even necessary considering how little the two deviate from each other in their playing compared to their other post-hardcore brethren. Another small gripe is that the album can blend in some moments due to the very consistent sound and style the band brings to the table. Some of the metalcore sections and melodies can be quite cheesy, but it's a testament to their ability in that it's still a lot of fun to listen to regardless.

Overall, Fake History is an outstanding release that literally came out of nowhere to grab my post-hardcore AOTY nomination for 2010 with little in the way of competition. There are so many awesome moments all over this record it's pointless to list them. letlive. definitely have a pastiche of influences, some more obvious than others, but put them together masterfully into their own sound better than a lot of their peers. Unquestionably a band we'll be seeing great things from in the future. And really how can you lose? Daryl Palumbo + Claudio Sanchez + Poison The Well + Hopesfall + jazz rhythms = mega ***ing win.



Recent reviews by this author
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user ratings (1182)
Chart.
4.1
excellent
other reviews of this album
1 of
  • yidnarc (1.5)
    This is overrated post hardcore at its worst. Are you sure there good??...

    NothingForSomething (5)
    Letlive. reminds us of the roots of post-hardcore whilst having a modern flare and catchin...

    syncopation081 (4.5)
    Apart from simply perfecting the dichotomous song-structure of traditional hardcore, Letli...

    Live (4.5)
    Letlive create something worthy of a spot in every post-hardcore lover's library....

  • J. Ponton EMERITUS (4.5)
    Letlive bring a post-hardcore album fit for many of 2010's best-of lists...

    TheBloodTypo (4.5)
    To all my friends, you're all gonna die......

    Sam Feldman's Rating (4.5)
    Fake History surprisingly sits close to the top of my albums of an already surprising year...


Comments:Add a Comment 
StrizzMatik
June 8th 2010



3158 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

This needed to be written and this band needs the love and attention. It's one of the best releases this year hands-down for anyone who like heavy/fast/melodic music. Check out some of their live shows on Youtube, absolutely manic and crazy as fuck. So yeah, comments, etc.

ShadowRemains
June 8th 2010



19427 Comments


great review, pos'd

summary is win

this sounds pretty cool

ziroth
June 8th 2010



1252 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

d/l'd this last nite. excited to listen now

ShadowRemains
June 8th 2010



19427 Comments


[img]http://images.icanhascheezburger.com/completestore/2009/3/18/128818950955497464.jpg[/img]

StrizzMatik
June 8th 2010



3158 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

LOL

Muther is just so fucking good.

DDconjoined
June 8th 2010



326 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

great great album. thanks for reviewing it. and hope this band continues to improve

StrizzMatik
June 8th 2010



3158 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

I've been jocking this band on my Twitter to sputnik for a few weeks now. This is one of those albums that really needs to be heard by everyone. Come on Adam/redsky, lemme get a Staff Pick/featured review real quick bro PLZ

Athom
Staff Reviewer
June 9th 2010



17114 Comments


Nice! I've been following these guys for years. I'm seeing them later this month. I'll tell jom that
this should be featured. Here's hoping he does, even though it's not like brand new brand new. I would
staff pick it, but the site's not letting me : (

great review by the way!

Digging: Sad Lovers and Giants - Feeding the Flame

StrizzMatik
June 9th 2010



3158 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

awesome, the band featured my review on their fb/myspace pages

StrizzMatik
June 10th 2010



3158 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Come on fuckers

Captain North
June 10th 2010



6743 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This is pretty good...and I don't think its that unoriginal. Certainly goes in different directions to the mentioned bands, while obviously a continuation of what they're doing.

AbyssalCreation
June 10th 2010



2023 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This cd fucking rules.

In love with We, the Pros of Con.

StrizzMatik
June 10th 2010



3158 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Any word on a featured review/staff pick Adam?

StrizzMatik
June 11th 2010



3158 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

http://audiopinions.net/interviews/featured-artist-letlive/

Wow. Awesome interview, really refreshing to hear a more intelligent viewpoint on things

StrizzMatik
June 14th 2010



3158 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

You guys suck, you really do

AbyssalCreation
June 14th 2010



2023 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Bumping, because this album simply rules.

Captain North
June 15th 2010



6743 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This is definitely in my top 5 for this year.

StrizzMatik
June 15th 2010



3158 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

we need moar ppl to listen to this please spread the word

Captain North
June 16th 2010



6743 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

It'll have to wait to see if it sticks for a long time, but atm I'd be tempted to say it's better than Glassjaw, or at least, the best of both albums.

StrizzMatik
June 16th 2010



3158 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Better than both worship and eyewtkas? I dont know about that. This album borrows too much from them to be better than them imo



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