Review Summary: With its debut full-length, Love American has evolved into the band that it's been hinting at all along.
Love American, an emotional/post-hardcore band from California, is very much a group that you want to believe in; a genuine symbol of a genre that creates music for expression, and expression alone. For the past couple of years, Love American—like many other of its ilk—have been playing shows and releasing material here and there, but for seemingly different reasons than trying to get “out there.” Here is the amicable appeal, as the band’s debut album Disquiet
is painfully genuine, feeling like the passionate and amorous outing that the band has been building towards.
, despite being released a little over a year after the band’s self-titled EP, marks a dramatic shift in the band’s sound. Retaining the same post-hardcore/screamo mixture seen in bands like Pianos Become the Teeth and Envy, Love American is relatively still the same band, but it has made a lot of strides to maturate its sound. Most notable is the new vocalist, Adam Thomas, who was and still is the lead guitarist. His gruff and crass style feels welcome here, sharing similarities with vocals from Suis La Lune. Another change comes in the form of Thomas yet again, but this time in regards to his guitar playing. While his work on Love American
was impressive as hell, it did little to expand the band’s sound. Ultimately felt unrefined at times, sounding like Thomas Erak, but without genuinely feeling a part of the music. However, on Disquiet
, Thomas and Hans truly shine. Instead of feeling like a gimmicky coating, the guitar work here feels absolutely vital
. Less time is spent in the forefront which goes a long way in making his work seem like an organic and natural component.
In regards to songwriting, Love American has brought a lot to the table this time around. Opening up with “Waves,” said song hearkens back to a very dramatic sound employed by bands such as Envy and Funeral Diner. The song starts off with a slow, atmospheric tremolo picked section and slowly swells into a bolder, vocal heavy portion. Stephen, the bassist and Ryan the drummer also shine here, as their inputs give the song even more vibrancy. The remainder of the record actually contains an impressive amount of variation. Shifting between bouts of standard hardcore and atmospheric emo, Disquiet
features a bevy of different sounds, but feels wholly cohesive. Even the extended instrumental portions are played off as completely necessary, culminating in an admirably well thought out record.
As the Love American’s debut full-length, Disquiet
is a glowing success. The changes in style and presentation have paid off in spades, and the album is very lively and exciting thanks to some very smart songwriting choices. The production could be better, as every so often a muddy section rears its head, but this in no way detracts from the overall experience. With each EP and split, Love American has been hinting at true greatness, and here it has arrived.