LETLIVE – The Blackest Beautiful

letliveLETLIVE – ‘The Blackest Beautiful’
Notorious LA rockers Letlive. are seemingly on a vertical trajectory destined to make them the must see act of the year, and one of the most important bands on the scene today.  Following the acclaimed Fake History, Jason Butler and team are expanding an accessible post-hardcore blueprint towards global dominance; authoritative, commanding and pioneering, theirs is a sound like no other.  A mix of contemporary, almost pop-rock flavoured passages that casually contort via incessant and paced hardcore thrills.  Never settling for a moment, their third LP rails and rages through forms and movements that shun all associations to modern peers, using Butler’s showmanship and ability as a frontman to carve out a niche thats exclusive and stylistically idiosyncratic.  The Blackest Beautiful is not lacking in energy and character; there are more characters on show than a Coen Brothers comedy.  But is the ability it yields to set the markers and make musical statements that defy convention, challenge expectations and swing a shit covered jackboot straight into the nuts of the industry.  Take opener ‘Banshee (Ghost Fame)’ with its ferociously catchy persona, hard-hitting riffs and smart as f*** lyrical structure that invokes crazed and impassioned rapture.  ‘Empty Elvis’ is straight up, on the edge hardcore while ‘White America’s Beautiful Black Market’ again reveals a more playful set of breakdowns that has the band jumping out of the speakers like marauding mortals.  Jean Francisco Nascimento’s antagonistic guitar work on ‘Dreamers Disease’ works to serve Butlers wracked screams and its on the excellent ‘That Fear Fever’ where the ensemble convey influences from Rage Against The Machine to Rollins Band and current contemporaries like Bring Me The Horizon.  ‘Virgin Dirt’ is a considered mid-point breather that’s in no way ballad-like; more a takedown of the volatile ferocity that preceeds it – Butler still closing the song with signature howls.  It’s hugely effective fayre and way ahead of most that grace this space.  While ‘Younger’ is a funky floor-filler with fist in the air chorus-lines that will see them right through the summer, ‘The Dope Beat’ fails to keep the flame burning brightly; only to be saved by ‘The Priest And Used Cars’ which re-ignites the fireworks before ‘Pheromone CVLT’s alt-rock vibe provides an astute angle to the albums second half.  Closer ’27 Club’ is a combination of everything that’s gone before and a raw, rock-solid sign off from a band that’s found its sweet spot, right in the here and now.  (8)
STEVE FLETCHER

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