Love American
Love American


3.5
great

Review

by Eric USER (161 Reviews)
February 27th, 2011 | 313 replies


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Difficult decision: Whether to enjoy Love American’s EP merely in its present state, or to revel in all the potential that’s so obviously spilling out from every which way of the band’s debut.

For us optimists, potential is a wonderful thing. So wonderful, in some cases, that the mere idea of a brighter tomorrow and the build-up leading to it, can be just as satisfying as actual said bright day. Think about it: weren’t those weeks leading up to that awesome Spring Break two years ago just as satisfying as the actual break itself? Love American is similar to my Spring Break ’09 in that, more than anything, it’s an amazing coagulation of potential. Newcomers to the Southern California scene, Love American are a conglomeration of everything you love about screamo and post-hardcore. There’s nothing a band can do sexier than picking the perfect influences for their sound, and Love American displays the Californians’ knack for this. They list Hot Cross, Thursday, and Pianos Become the Teeth as their influences, but I’ll be damned if I don’t hear a little Suis La Lune-style foreign screamo or 90’s Jawbox-esque post-hardcore thrown in the mix. Please excuse the superfluous name-dropping, but it provides a nice segway to the point that Love American’s ever-present influences are just as much a strength as they are a weakness. Nevertheless, Love American is a surprisingly solid debut from a band overflowing with the potential to release something truly spectacular.

At a mere six songs, Love American needed to use their time wisely on their self-titled EP. Thankfully, they do just that as Love American is a fairly balanced act. Its more compelling points lie at the beginning and end, but you’d be hard-pressed to find a let-up in energy throughout the uptempo affair. “Keep The Wes Dream Alive,” a monument to the band’s knack for virtuoso songwriting, displays their ability to noodle between drastically different moods and tempos while remaining fluid. In doing so, pinning down Love American to a specific genre is a no-go, with their array of influences showing so blatantly. Still, while it never quite reaches the grating point of “derivative,” as I’m happy to say, I can’t help but wish Love American had made this sound their own a tad more-- something that seems perfectly within reach should they expand to an LP format.

If there’s one noteworthy aspect throughout, it’s the consistency of the ragged, roaring vocals. Performed by Javier Ramirez, the screaming is a tour de force, unrelenting and fervent. One thing I found intriguing about them is Ramirez’s clarity to complement the raggedness in his screaming, a trait too often lacking in most modern screamo. “Then/Than” displays Ramirez ceasing momentarily, only to share the stage with Natalie Diaz, of Modern American Theatre, to provide an unexpected female presence to the EP’s catchiest track. The six songs at hand have enough striking, singular moments to impress again and again (that riff in “Where's My Cash, Johnny?” needs a shoutout somewhere in this review), but I’m hesitant to proclaim that Love American have done a truly outstanding job at owning this sound they’ve carved out for themselves; rather than, say, “Yeah, Love American does a fantastic job of blending Band A and Band B there.” Still, it’s imperative we return to this notion of potential.

Why shouldn’t we, though?... Love American is practically bursting at the seams with excitement. Evidenced by some of the less-than-adequate mixing, the band isn’t quite putting their best work possible forward, here. Given some time to simmer and grow in all the right places, there will be (hopefully) nothing stopping Love American from creating the sophomore album they’re capable of. We’re given glimpses of it (namely on the penultimate track, “Legendary Birds,” and to a lesser degree, the closer), but this isn’t it. It’s heartening to know that the band’s difficulties and struggles here are situational-- an LP would have allotted more time to solidify their sound, better equipment would have allowed for fancier mixing. More outstanding than the small cracks in the pavement, though, are the reasons to be excited-- dynamic, fluid songwriting; fervent, impassioned vocals; and an instrumental section that can keep up with ease. Mark my words: be it just a buildup, Love American sounds like the buildup to something exciting, something we’ll be able to point to 3 years down the road and say, “That was great, but they’ve come so far...” For now though, Love American is an EP sufficient enough to let us revel in the present Love American, as well as look forward with eagerness to what Love American lies in the future-- more than a little like anticipating Spring break ’09, right?



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user ratings (96)
Chart.
3.5
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
SeaAnemone
February 27th 2011


20515 Comments


Sorry for another review today... but it's been a slow day, and I had this done, and I've only written a few reviews this year so I thought it wouldn't hurt.





Digging: Pharmakon - Bestial Burden

mmfarva
February 27th 2011


1352 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thumbs up, spot on.

cvlts
February 27th 2011


8967 Comments


cannot believe this got reviewed lol. not hatin or anything.

SeaAnemone
February 27th 2011


20515 Comments


I've reviewed things from smaller, less recognizable bands before, if that's what you mean?...

Kris.
February 27th 2011


12345 Comments


pos'd
ep rules but then again i'm biased (aka adam's bitch)

FromDaHood
Contributing Reviewer
February 27th 2011


9041 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Glad this got reviewed, especially by a good writer.

Athom
Staff Reviewer
February 27th 2011


17222 Comments


loveamerican.bandcamp.com

Bitchfork
February 27th 2011


7584 Comments


i wish this was either way more or way less repetitive because it seems like they want to revel in the progressive ooze without really... well... doing so.

whywontyoudie
February 27th 2011


3063 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

excellent review. Adam's gonna be happy.
[Edit] there he is.

acorncheese
February 27th 2011


7119 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Fucking love Where's My Cash, Johnny?

Yazz_Flute
February 27th 2011


18802 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

You must have lost your virginity in spring break '09 or something.

Digging: Kayo Dot - Coffins On Io

klap
Staff Reviewer
February 27th 2011


10493 Comments


YOU RIDE A SEGWAY, NOT A SEGUE

Digging: Caribou - Our Love

Enotron
February 27th 2011


7695 Comments


didn't love what i heard of this, but still stellar. guitar coulda been turned up a lil bit though

SeaAnemone
February 27th 2011


20515 Comments


ha no, I'm actually lying in the review... don't think I did anything particularly special for spring break that year. it's just a symbol or something for looking forward to stuff or whatever.

Xenophanes
Emeritus
February 27th 2011


10611 Comments


a nice segway


yeah but they're expensive as hell. Either way, not sure what a motorized scooter has to do with this band.

Digging: Kayo Dot - Coffins On Io

Yazz_Flute
February 27th 2011


18802 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

oh. neg'd for lack of realism.

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
February 27th 2011


16403 Comments


Another review? I was thinking of doing this but then I forgot. Haven't even listened to it yet tbh. But I will get around to it (listening, not reviewing since this probably covers everything).

Great review yet again though.

Digging: Weezer - Everything Will Be Alright in the End

SeaAnemone
February 27th 2011


20515 Comments


NOBODY GETS THE SEGWAY REFERENCE IT WAS INTENTIONAL GODDAMNIT

Bitchfork
February 27th 2011


7584 Comments


hoping to get high spring break with some friends will be bitching

Kris.
February 27th 2011


12345 Comments


bro youre like 13 wait til your later teens to get into the hevy shit THEN you can fuck up your life



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