Review Summary: LoveHateHero does a lot of right on White Lies. This is without question my favorite release of 07 so far.
I never knew that a mere friend request could turn into a near obsession so rapidly, but than again at that time I had no clue who LoveHateHero was. A few clicks and three songs later, the California quintet had a new friend, fan, and listener. After frequently visiting their page to hear the new songs from their upcoming album White Lies
I was sold. A week later I sent in a preorder. Pardon me if this sounds cliché to some, but I don’t think I have ever been sold on a record so fast. Than again, the only time I remember listening to a new record as much as this was when I was introduced to The Artist In The Ambulance
and for those who don’t know me, that’s saying a shi
So what is it" What makes this record so irresistible and so persistently incredible" It is not the fact that the guitars can dish out a variety of style in their riffing and their progressions, with styles ranging from full blown metal, to pop punk, to even more classic punk style. It is not the fact that more than half of the songs present have incredible guitar solos. It is not the fact that bass is indeed audible and plays great lines along with a drummer who knows how to not overplay songs but still make an impression on listeners. And it is not the fact that the vocalist is capable of letting out some phenomenal screaming, moderate growls, and emotionally emphasized singing with an incredible range. While all of these contribute, the record is not a hit because of these individually incredible aspects. White Lies
is incredible because it uses all of these talents cohesively, creating a superbly refreshing, consistent and memorable record.
It’s not a love hate thing, it’s a LoveHateHero thing. LoveHateHero reaches out to a fairly large audience. Their overall musical depth along with their overall catchy sound allows songs to shine in the sense that it is the perfect balance of heavy and melodic elements. While that’s been done before, they take things to a new level with their guitar solos. Simply put, this element takes White Lies
to a level the band has never reached before as it really makes them stick out in a field with their peers. I don’t know about you but I would certainly rather hear a group emotionally accent songs with leads, whether it be slow and melodic, or fast and shredding than to take a couple of chugs on the low C string. The solos only begin to show the improvement that has taken place in their overall musical ability and song construction. Taking a step away from the guitar solos, the group performs the rest of their routine including catchy choruses, heavy hitting riffs and melodic touches in a fashion where a patent almost feels warranted. White Lies
manages to be consistent in quality despite introducing diverse sounds and being a huge step up technicality wise for the group.
Improvement is shown right away in plenty of departments. Listener’s get that hint on “Goodbye My Love”
which sports some energetic riffing, a catchy chorus, and some great singing. Things already sound my polished than ever and than a solo rips through. It has the works, slow beginning before diving into some sweep sections as it comes to a close with a great tapping pattern. This only foreshadows the excellent guitar work to come as despite a lacking intro “You Got Served”
warms up and introduces another soaring lead which accents the song perfectly. The band doesn’t rely solely on shredding, as there are certainly some emotionally and melody driven solos. “Running With Scissors”
builds up to a very mellow and emotional solo which is sure to capture some hearts. Even its brief tapping section works well. This guitar work stays top notch all the way through the record as “She Puts The Ho Back in Homewrecker”
comes complete with a moderate paced twin harmony before shifting into a slightly faster lead. Aside from the leads, the guitar work just feels much more thought out and inspired. Riffs work better together, rhythms sound solid and tight and everything just works overall. They sure have learned how to use octave chords effectively here and balance out some great progressions, riffs, and leads very consistently.
While the guitar work is extremely pleasant, it does not completely take the spotlight. The rhythm section has taken a great leap up as well. First and for most, the production here is absolutely stellar. Bass is audible and it is a darn good thing. It holds plenty of things together and manages to do so without restricting lines to mere root notes. The accents heard on “I’ll Make It To The Brigades”
really hold everything together well. Also, throughout the verse of “Amity”
the line is very well played, as it holds its own amongst the guitars. On the slower and more melodic “Move On”
things stay tight as bass drifts off at times keeping things interesting and unique. Once more production helps drums to shine here. Main reason being double bass is present but not overpowering. Thankfully that huge pet peeve (for me at least) was not agitated. With a crazy guitar section happening, metronome drumming would seem conventional and perhaps even mandatory. However, that really isn’t the way it goes down. Variety in beats, use of the whole kit, smoothly performed double patterns in tasteful moderation, and fills are all found here. There really is not point in pointing out specific tracks since it is darn near flawless throughout the record. But it would be a crime not to mention the awesome drum intro of “Hollywoodemia”
, oh yeah it’s on.
Improvement, improvement, improvement, on all ends but there still is a fine line between improvement and maturity. Guess what" LoveHateHero has taken care of them both here. The result is much more memorable and effective songs. A wonderful post hardcore and pop punk fusion in “Red Dress”
opens with a nifty little piano intro and incorporates some growling, heavy rhythms, and an irresistibly catchy chorus. The improvement and variety vocally makes this one really come to life, especially when combined with some deadly rhythms and phenomenal guitar work. A bit more of a poppy track is shown in “Of Sound and Fury”
. The chorus features a half time sing-a-long complete with some vocal echoing. Even its cliché acoustic bridge fits absolutely perfectly and will dismiss criticisms as a result. On the heavier end, “Running With Scissors”
shows some angst towards a trouble family member. Touching on the subjects of trust, love and tragedy things sound quite inspired and emotional. The majority of the record is all mixed together in the closer “The Puts The Ho Back in Homewrecker”
, at least in terms of influence. Heavy rhythms, screams, hard riffing, and even some dissonance are all revealed. They are contrasted by an uplifting chorus and some melodic lead work. It ends up being epic without the cheese factor and is truly an incredible way to end an incredible record.
I’m blown away, still. Their debut showed potential but this completely takes things to a new level. I remember the first time I listened to record, I kept waiting. Waiting for something to pinch a nerve in me, waiting for a filler track to come, waiting to say something negative about the record overall. After over twenty listens I am still speechless. In fact just about the only not positive thing I can say is that this record is not completely ground breaking original. But what they lack in originality is compensated with their near perfection in performance. White Lies
is an extremely consistent record despite the fact that the songs contain new features, diverse influences, and assorted sounds. That is possibly its strongest attribute, as it incorporates variety without sacrificing quality. Bands have tried to make this record before, and they have failed. LoveHateHero opens 2007 with an extremely impressive record which should only bring them more success stories to come.
Final Rating: 4.5/5