LoveLikeFire – [Album]

Sunday, 28 March 2010

Ever hear something and have no idea how to qualify it, but like it anyway? It has happened to me before, and has obviously happened occasionally to record label executives and publicists – if what has been said about LoveLikeFire and their album, Tear Ourselves Away, is any indicator.

In any particular piece of literature (except this one), buzz words like 'emo,' 'industrial' and the like get thrown around with reckless abandon. None of them are appropriate.

In this case, the confusion may indeed be a little deserved though; no one has played the mixture that LoveLikeFire is the way they do on Tear Ourselves Away before. There are elements of Modest Mouse's dense-as-hell arrangement style throughout the album's run-time, as well as the urgent, artistic flare that both Pulp and The Smiths were known for and singer Anna Yu sounds like she might be the illegitimate lovechild of Debbie Harry and Morrissey – but what comes together in the final result is all just a hair to the left of all of those centers. Any of those comparisons might pass in the tightest pinch, but they all fall apart the closer one listens.

In the beginning, Tear Ourselves Away builds exactly like one might expect a classic alt-rock album to start – like one by U2 maybe – as propulsive bass pokes slowly become more fluid with the increasingly potent addition of guitars supplied by Yu and Marty Mattern along with Yu's chilly, pitch-perfect vocals in “William,” and completely release orgiastically when the song hits its chorus dominated by plea's to the song's namesake.

After that, the going gets even more arena-ready. Songs like “From A Tower,” “I've Pissed Off My Friends,” “Crow's Feet” and “Stand In Your Shoes” all bounce back and forth easily and fluidly between postpunk-infused pop (along the lines of Arcade Fire or Modest Mouse) and the more famous side of classic alternative (The Smiths and maybe Jane's Addiction too – although LoveLikeFire also steals Pulp's mojo on “Crow's Feet” and the Rolling Stones' tongue-in-cheek sympathy for the dark lord on “I've Pissed Off My Friends” for a little genuine classicism too), much to the delight of anyone listening. It gets even better when the beautiful and charmed sigh of Anna Yu comes cresting in on top of the maelstrom to cause a wistful sigh in those listening; everyone loves a femme fatale, and Yu has that stance down to a science.

Now, anyone aware of LoveLikeFire's history knows that the band has tried playing this game. On both of LoveLikeFire's previous releases (Bed Of Gold in 2006 and An Ocean In The Air in 2007) but, on Tear Ourselves Away, the band has streamlined their approach perfectly; they're poised to make a far larger impression here.



LoveLikeFire – “Signs” – Tear Ourselves Away


Tear Ourselves Away
is out now and available as a UK import. Buy it here on Amazon .

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