Review Summary: "Love Let Me Go" is messy melodic hardcore and is essentially the sound of a sorrow filled heart purging the pain.
Last year was a fantastic year for me musically after a short sabbatical from metal; due to a lot of my favorite bands growing at a rather stagnant rate for my liking. Several new releases kept popping up that garnered heavy acclaim from various trustees, and I began to delve into the genre once again followed with a reminder of why I fell into love with it in the first place – mainly Ulcerate
’s Everything Is Fire
. Continuing the trends I’ve dedicated a lot of my time this year to uncovering hidden gems in the hardcore scene. The genre as a whole represents a special place in my heart since the cream of the crop all enforce one aspect that makes the music marvelous, emotional presence. Two albums that immediately come to mind are “Travels” and “Witness”. Both releases represent the genre at its peak in the last decade; passionate vocals, gut wrenching lyricism, fantastic instrumentation, and most of all emotional presence.
More Than Life
is the album I’ll look back on next year and say to myself 2010 was a good year for hardcore. Essentially this is the sound of a sorrow filled heart going through recuperation; Love Let Me Go
is damn near perfect. It culminates everything seasoned fans of the genre have come to love and demand. Agonizing vocals cry out stunning lyrics on top of reckless instruments proving the age old saying, “the whole is greater than the sum of the parts”. However this isn’t to say that one role is weaker than another, but more a crediting towards how immaculate the product can be when it’s a focused effort.
There are a handful of influences here either the melting of various genres with their relatable properties or sensible ideas from other bands who’ve made their mark. Screamo / emo has its place recognizable in “Curtains Close” with its epic build ups that lead into frenetic journey’s guided by somber guitar playing and backed by stuttering drum fills. Post Rock often rears its subtle head from time to time as well. Seamless intros with single instruments set up for some of the albums best songs and/or moments – see “Scarlet Skyline”. What I’ve come to love best about this record is how certain tendencies reflect past hardcore favorites, Defeater
being a prime breath in this lively effort. Though this may detract from its originality flavoring it does not harbor enough distaste to call this record bland or formidable in the genre. I’m immediately stricken by how crisp the drumming is. A small pet peeve of mine arises when an albums production limits the impact of the drums. Here, this is far from the case, there are several instances where it is the drums that take the traditional hardcore track and amplify it. “Daisy Hill” for example, is a song that has multiple benefactors, but it’s the drums that anchor the songs emotion pit patting their way throughout. What is surely one of the best hardcore tracks of the year encompasses yet another reason to love this album.
The guitars are top notch dishing out moments of dissonance before beautiful ambiance and aggression have their way. As with “Daisy Hill” so too does “Black Eyed” serve as another gem. Demonstrating a prominent lead in that magnifies the emotion dripping aura of the track. The tasteful underlying tone of the song keeps it feeling like a constant motion forward; refusing to settle on a single idea the band cut through several moods distinguishingly in its two and a half minute length. Other times the band matches the theme of the songs delicately. On “Take My Life Away” there’s a surreal breakdown that follows the line, “I watched you walk away from me”. Hammered notes provide the feeling of someone taking thundered steps away from another.
Love Let Me Go
is messy. While that’s surely not a reason to fault the album it does create problems with distancing some tracks from others. Vocalist James Nolastname has a tough time individualizing each track due to his short range and limited variation in delivery. “Silent Grey” has an interesting conclusion but the band seem stuck in limbo between heavy breakdown or half solemn outro this feels due to the one tonal shouting by James. It’s not till the last track that there is the traditional gang chants implemented of “letting go of everything” that one could pinpoint which moment of the album this occurs on. It’s discrepancies like this, and the need of showing appreciation to their predecessors that keep this album from being a home run. Still this is not said to deny the potential this band has, the idea and implications are certainly all there. With better execution and slight moments of deviation from behind the mic you’ve got your next classic hardcore album.