More Than Life
Love Let Me Go


3.0
good

Review

by Richard Craig USER (120 Reviews)
April 27th, 2011 | 18 replies


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist


2010 was an important year for UK hardcore band More Than Life. It saw them tour the country and much of Europe with fellow Brits, Dead Swans and hardcore heavyweights Defeater, which led to them gaining a lot of deserved exposure. More importantly for the quintet however, 2010 saw the release of their debut album ‘Love Let Me Go’ – which further increased their profile and saw them become the darlings of illegal bloggers webwide as well as of hardcore fans on this very website. Despite the relative buzz that briefly built up around these five assuming lads from Frome very little seemed to change. They still find themselves playing the same venues, to the same crowds; they are largely shunned by more mainstream journalistic outlets; they are still the ‘token support act’. Maybe recognition isn’t the sign of good music. Maybe the band have slipped through the cracks and have not enjoyed the deserved fruits of their labour. Or maybe, just maybe, ‘Love Let Me Go’ wasn’t as good as we first thought…

Firstly, however, it must be said that ‘LLMG’ is very impressive musically. The guitar work on the album is very affecting, creating a distinct atmosphere not found on other hardcore releases. The mournful guitar riffs in ‘Black Eyed’ and ‘Scarlet Skyline’ in particular showcase a more mature consideration, while the captivating delay-ridden chords of ‘Daisy Hill’ owe as much to post-rock as they do to more traditional hardcore. There are exceptions however, with the power-chord driven punk of the title track standing out as a prominent example of MTL failing to break the mould. The album is anchored by a strong rhythm section with precise, crisp drumming counterpointed by bass riffs which are mostly inoffensive, yet vaguely effective. However, when given enough space, the bass does provide moments of focus and intrigue - such as the moody bridge of ‘The First Night of Autumn’. At times however, the drums are given license to roam free and it is at times such as this, such as the undulating tom-toms of ‘Daisy Hill’ where they really shine.

As harsh as it is to single out an individual for criticism, what really drags the quality of the album down is the limited range of vocalist, James Matthews, and lyrics which at times read like overbearing teenage poetry. Throughout the album Matthews’ vocal are extremely limited in terms of range and frequently border on monotony. Also, at times his lines end abruptly, potentially because of limited lung capacity or poor technique, but we could be kind and chalk it up to excessive presence… After all, one thing you cannot accuse Matthews or the rest of MTL of is not being passionate. Unfortunately, all too often ‘Love Let Me Go’ comes across as cringingly blunt rather than heart wrenching and poetic: the album’s opening cry of “It’s getting colder outside, let’s step out of the rain/ Black clouds still circle the sky, the gods have felt our pain” is an ominous side of what’s to come lyrically. The lyrics’ losing battle between being poetic and being corny bears much resemblance to the way in which La Dispute’s ‘Somewhere at the Bottom of the River…’s lyricism and vocal delivery has the ability to divide listeners.

Ultimately, More Than Life’s ‘Love Let Me Go’ was a very ambitious album – particularly for a debut. The solid instrumentation draws comparisons to titans such as Defeater and its sparseness and density frequently demonstrate a more forward-thinking, intelligent approach to song-writing. Unfortunately, the album’s poor lyricism (this is not always the case though, as demonstrated by the engaging portrayal of lost love and long-distance relationships in ‘Daisy Hill’ – mentioned throughout the review for good reason) and poor vocal performance are too prominent to overlook. Their overwhelming presence ultimately drags down the quality of the album considerably. This is a great shame, because at times ‘Love Let Me Go’ shows great promise from a young band.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
craigy2
April 27th 2011


551 Comments


A mediocre rating for one of the top-rated albums of last year?! Bring it on!

MalleusMaleficarum
April 27th 2011


15531 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good review, but I don't think the vocals drag this down much.



Lyrics, maybe a little bit yeah.

psykonaut
April 27th 2011


3913 Comments


tits

craigy2
April 27th 2011


551 Comments


cheers, man. sorry, where are you referring to with the 'self- reference'?

craigy2
April 27th 2011


551 Comments


Ahh, okay. Fair enough. When I wrote that sentence I was very, very aware that I'd mentioned that song several times throughout the review. I don't know... I think you could justify it's use/non-use either way.
It's easily the best song on the album, in my opinion.


Irving
Staff Reviewer
April 27th 2011


7385 Comments


Charming album cover.

Digging: Pastel Lite - Etcetera

cvlts
April 27th 2011


9169 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

I can agree with you on the vocal part, but only to the extent that they're probably hit/miss for

most.



Also, think you're being a bit too harsh on the reason why MTL haven't 'gotten big'. I think a big

majority of their reception came from the states and they would be much more well received once they

cross the pond, if ya namsayin?



cant win em all though, sweet review craigy

Digging: Old Wounds - The Suffering Spirit

craigy2
April 27th 2011


551 Comments


Cheers, Dante.

I did wonder if it was necessary to put in that part about them not 'getting big'... I thought it might seem like an oversimplification. I do agree with your point about the differences in reception on different sides of the atlantic. Weirdly, fans in mainland Europe seem to like them a lot more than fans in the UK - then again, I may be reading too much into crowd reactions in live videos.
Basically, I understand what you're saying, bro.

Also, I may have been a little over-dramatic with why I said they haven't 'got big' for the effect. Which is ironic because MTL being overdramatic is one of the main criticisms I'd make of this album...

iFghtffyrdmns
April 27th 2011


7047 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

skimmed this and generally agree. it's definitely good, I like Brave enough to Fail a lot more though

Spec
April 27th 2011


28762 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

That's because it's better.

iFghtffyrdmns
April 27th 2011


7047 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

brilliant thinkers aren't we

Dummit
April 28th 2011


368 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Boobs? Boobs.





album's killer.

Damus
April 15th 2012


513 Comments


Damn the first song on this album is derivative and generic. Gonna give the whole album a listen though.

fulgrim
April 15th 2012


1542 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

album rules.

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
April 15th 2012


51505 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

not a 3

fulgrim
April 15th 2012


1542 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

yeah, vocals aren't amazing but the guitar work more than makes up for it.

MalleusMaleficarum
April 15th 2012


15531 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

the vocals arent "technically" amazing, but theyre impressive in their own way.

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
April 15th 2012


51505 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Scarlet Skyline is really fun to play



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