Words About Music
letlive. “The Blackest Beautiful”
With today’s technology, nearly any band can make their album sound like it was professionally recorded in a fancy studio. With a few hundred dollars and a computer you can buy any number of programs that will filter and compress the sound of the guitar or the drum snare until you sound like any band on the Vans Warped Tour or Rockstar Mayhem Festival Tour.
Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you letlive. Letlive is a Los Angeles post-hardcore band (I use that term only because both Wikipedia and last.fm use that term to describe this band) and “The Blackest Beautiful” is their third album, and their first with the Brett Gurewitz owned Epitaph Records, which exists to remind you that Brett Gurewitz has a poor taste in music.
Although Letlive is consistently called a post-hardcore band, they sound more like Avenged Sevenfold than they do, say, Defeater, whose new album “Letters Home” is excellent. Needless to say, I was not at all impressed with what this band had to offer.
The first song “Banshee (Ghost Fame)” begins with a snippet of what I assume is a lo-fi demo before actually kicking into the real song, and now that I look back on it, I would’ve much preferred an album that sounded more lo-fi than one that sounded like… well, this.
The rest of the album continues, song after song, and leaves quite a bit to be desired. The vocals are over-the-top, and the only emotion they show is anger, when really there’s way more to being a post-hardcore vocalist. It’s also important to portray sadness and even insanity when singing this style of music. Just look at Glassjaw vocalist Daryl Palumbo, one of the best post-hardcore vocalists out there. I’ll say it again, “The Blackest Beautiful” plays like a condensed and slightly more lyrically articulate Avenged Sevenfold album.
I’m trying my best not to knock too hard on Letlive right now, because I’m sure they’re fine gents who worked very hard to get where they are today, which is three albums into their career and signed to one of the biggest alternative rock labels in America. So good on them for doing what they want to do. Is it better than their acclaimed second album “Fake History”? I don’t know! This is my first experience with the band. I just hope Letlive get their act together and don’t become one of the countless “Hot Topic”-core bands that makes their money through deals with Kevin Lyman.
SCORE – 3.5