Three long years have passed since post-hardcore upstarts Letlive dropped the huge 'Fake History', and the LA bunch are keen to enhance their solid reputation. The hype surrounding the album was infectious and really drew me in. I was coming from a thrash/death background and hadn’t ventured too far into the world of post-hardcore (which, apparently, is a real thing) so I picked up the album and gave it a spin. After one listen I thought to myself 'Is this what the kids are listening to now?! They wouldn't know a good riff if it twatted them in the snapback' but I stuck with it (for nearly a year) and eventually, I got it. So, as Letlive prepare to launch album number three, I'm officially a fan.
If ever there was a way to follow up an album like 'Fake History', It is by opening with a full-on sensory assault like 'Banshee (Ghost Fame)', it's a scathing punky anthem with all manner of flair and style seeping from every orifice. A bouncy chorus and the odd showing of unrestrained angst make this a winner. Jason Aalon Butler has evolved into one of the coolest mofo's in the game and is really pushing Chino Moreno in terms of style and talent. His delightful array of heart-wrenching screams, soaring melodies and a smooth hip-hop flow have definitely shot this band skyward, not to mention his flawless beard. 'White America's Beautiful Black Market' begins with a samba-esque drum roll and a funky bass line, it's unlike anything within it's field and is a real stand-out.
This is a really interesting listen. Sitting back with the cans on and soaking up all it has to offer is the finest way to enjoy this eclectic ensemble of tunes. The songs themselves are just hit after hit but the mix can let down the mega choruses, which should hit hard and stick in the mind. The slightly muddied sound makes the riffing feel gritty and genuine, so its not all bad. Lyrically, this album is venomous and steeped with deeper meaning.
Give this album a fair listen and it will grow on you like a potent moss. It is a definite grower and will reward your perseverance with unflinching honesty and some of the rawest, yet refined, music of the year. But you don't need me to tell you that as Letlive were booked for the Underworld in London, a 500 capacity venue. Now, however, they have been bumped up to the Electric Ballroom, which can hold 1100. This fact speaks for itself. Letlive are on the rise and with their enigmatic talisman, Mr Butler leading the charge, their star doesn't seem to be fading anytime soon.