Review Summary: A good death.4 of 4 thought this review was well written
For whatever reason, it's actually on this farewell EP that Los Angeles post-hardcore up-and-comers-that-never-quite-came Love American cement their sound. While I honestly think that the band’s Javier-era split with Harbours
was their career peak, Disquiet
was a record that should have had a lot more impact but took a crowbar to the kneecaps with its thin DIY production and shaky transition in style. The (second) break-up announcement coming right off the heels of the release of “It’s Dangerous to Go Alone”--honestly one of the best songs they’d ever written--was some heartbreaking stuff indeed, but with the band’s discography essentially being one admittedly small collection of promising starts, you couldn’t blame them for not following through. The release of this final EP comes as a farewell statement from a band that could have been strong enough to go further than one lousy Defeater
support if they decided to stick around, but like so many great bands of olde, it just wasn’t meant to be.
In addition to the typical mix of Suis La Lune
-type skramz and melody-heavy The Fall of Troy
post-hardcore, Hollow Crosses
fittingly resolves most of the annoying little mishaps that plagued Disquiet
, which is essential in understanding Love American’s accomplishment on this release. For one thing, there's actually real production here, cue a round of applause for former bassist Aaron Mould of Eager Sea. The amount of confidence that the band displays is also more than we've heard from them in a while; the hesitant, forced structures and homogeneity of Disquiet
is replaced by perfectly natural composition work and just the right amount of variety (or lack of variety) to yield zero filler whilst keeping the EP’s aesthetic “feel” focused. That “feel” is one of powerful anguish manifested from melancholy chords and strained screams but coupled with the hopeful undertones of Adam Thomas and Hans Cruz’s guitar melodies; this time around, Hollow Crosses
has the production values and concentrated songwriting to truly convey this sound without a hitch. As a final icing of the cake, it's nice to hear Adam handle his vocals properly for once.
As much as I wish this was a full-length, Love American letting the Wes Dream die with Hollow Crosses
is a move that I cannot fault for even a second. It’s meaningful, hardhitting, and easily the best thing the band’s done in years, but it closes at a strange place in that there are only two members of the band’s final lineup on this record. It’s a sendoff that is musically so triumphant even though the band is clearly buried so deep in the ground, but it’s simultaneously an affirming statement on the merit of Love American: that regardless of whatever has splintered the band, these are four songs worth holding onto.
I wanna hold on to this heart / to these hands / for just a second longer / than I can