Letlive. – [Album]

Saturday, 07 May 2011

Remember the first time you heard The Shape Of Punk To Come by The Refused? Chances are, your first reaction was one of shock; it was heavy and aggressive and the songs flashed through like a blur, and the way they played out only left you with enough time to think, “What is this?” not because it was an unwelcome experience, but because it was totally unlike anything you'd heard before, and you liked it. If you want to get that feeling again, listen to Fake History by Letlive.

On their third album (first for Epitaph), Letlive doesn't exactly operate within the established paradigm of punk or hardcore. They don't re-invent the wheel, they take the existing one and knock it out of round to make it their own and to serve their own purpose. Here, singer Jason Butler screams with all the ferocity of any hardcore or metal veteran and sings as pretty as any emo frontman, if he chooses – and, for fourteen tracks, he changes back and forth at his whim while his band remains in-step at every turn.

“So what? That shit's been done before,” you sneer, unimpressed. Not like this it hasn't – not exactly. On Fake History, Letlive blend metal, hardcore, emo and punk so evenly that there are no seams to trip over in the mix, and no lumps either – other than the ones you'll likely take in the pit at one of the band's shows.

From the first blast of “Le Prologue,” listeners are sunk hip-deep into Letlive's caustic melange of every aggressive rock form to explode over the last twenty years and, like post-modern sculptors, incorporate them all beautifully. As listeners follow along – just waiting for the band to screw up and do something unforgivable – Letlive continues to knock them off their feet with songs like “Renegade '86,” “Casino Columbus,” “Muther” and “H. Ledger” and never give anyone the satisfaction of tripping over some ill-advised incorporation. Rather, those listeners still left waiting for something bad to happen or some egregious error to occur will find themselves falling hardest for the band because, at around the time “Hollywood, And She Did” lays in – with Butler braying like some kind of ecstatic jackass over the most consistent metal anywhere on the record, Letlive proves it can do no wrong as they hammer that metal nail effortlessly. It's one of those things that has to be heard to be believed but, beware, if you listen  to Fake History – regardless of your preconceived notions – be prepared to watch closely for a follow-up, be prepared to stand in line at a record store on release day. Be prepared to not even think twice about doing it – because you'll be hooked.



Fake History
is out now. Buy it here on Amazon .

Comments are closed.