Review Summary: Fake History surprisingly sits close to the top of my albums of an already surprising year. Almost each song has a near jaw-dropping moment and the album is the farthest thing from a chore to listen to from start to finish.Fake History
, throughout its dynamic shifts and memorable moments, exuberates supreme confidence. Lead vocalist Jason Butler leads a charge of post-hardcore mixed with metalcore and pure rock to mountain peak heights with soaring chants and underlying anger. Taking influences ranging from Glassjaw to Coheed and Cambria, letlive unleash their take on the genre, wearing these influences on their sleeve while setting ablaze a refreshing style making this simultaneously a post-hardcore tribute and a new staple for the genre. It is without question letlive’s best record to date and one of the best post-hardcore albums in recent memory.
Succeeding a rather mysterious and heart stopping prologue, Fake History
starts things off with a bang in “The Sick, Sick, 6.8 Billion”. Immediate in its energy and execution, Butler shows off his range of pounding screams to Claudio Sanchez-esque cleans in a drop of a hat, as the chorus comes in and knocks your face off. Something also must be said about the rhythm section of the band as the drummer shifts from speedy drum fills to slower foundation beats, most of the time along the same part of the song and it really gives off an astounding sense of grandeur. The effect is apparent in many aspects of Fake History
, including “Enemigos/Enemies”. letlive showcases an excellent bass line to start the song off, moving into anthem-like territory with a scream of “I just want all my children/all my children/all my kids to know”
before exploding into one of the best choruses on the album that will be forced in your head for weeks on end. This is where the beauty of Fake History
really takes off; instead of keeping the same fill from the choruses in the middle of the song, the song ends unpredictably and wonderfully by keeping the same melodies but adding an entirely different beat. It’s really a masterful display of songwriting in post-hardcore that shows its face in many of the songs of Fake History
. The guitars make an appearance worth mentioning a few times as well, most notably at the end of “Renegade 86’” where the guitar riff dares the listener to stay still through its face melting duration. letlive has said in recent interviews that this album has been 5 years or so in the making, as some of these songs have been swirling around the band for some time now and it is apparent how much work and patience it took to create this record.
Through all the cheering and chanting and anger you will do and feel during the first half of Fake History
, nothing really prepares you for “Muther”, the albums centerpiece and masterwork. The song seems to have two parts: the first being a swirling piece that rises and falls and reminds the listener of the best parts of the first half of the album all thrown together in an array of emotion. The quaint female vocal part adds to the flavor and brings a ballad-type feel to the song. The second half of the song is where Fake History
cements itself as a near instant classic. Almost coming out of nowhere out of the surge that is the first half, a beautiful piano lead begins the group chant of “Don’t you cry mama we’ll/we’ll be ok”
. The song builds upon this initial idea, adding more and more until “Muther” culminates unquestionably into the song of the year. When looking at the context of the album, “Muther” sort of sticks out like a sore thumb but is perfectly placed within the album and gives it a nice flow into the 2nd half. To make matters better, the following song “Homeless Jazz” could be considered the 2nd best song on the album which can be even overwhelming at how amazing Fake History
has is up to this point. Except for the closing track, the album does lull a bit but does not take away from the entire package.
While I got this record on a whim by someone who had barely heard the album and just randomly recommended me something, Fake History
surprisingly sits close to the top of my albums of an already surprising year. Almost each song has a near jaw-dropping moment and the album is the farthest thing from a chore to listen to from start to finish. It has already defined my summer of 2010 and who knows the true heights it can achieve. Outstanding.