In Love and Death
Emo/screamo/post hardcore lovers tune in
If you don't like “emo”, “screamo”, “post-hardcore” etc. then just hit the back button right now, and read one of the other billion reviews that Simon has prepared for your reading pleasure. Because honestly, by the end of the first chorus of the first song on this album, all the imaginary boxes on the list of said musical styles have been well and truly checked. That's not to say it's a bad album, to the contrary. It's just that this album probably isn't going to be converting any new fans to the genre!
The band led by that weirdo ex of Kelly Osborne's has returned with their latest album In Love and Death, and all of the 2nd album requirements are here. The band's heavier bits are heavier, the mellow bits are mellower, but most importantly, the huge anthemic hooks that were such a huge part of their debuts success are somehow even catchier than before.
Opener, and first single Take It Away is a blast of energy reminding us of why we loved these guys in the first place. However it's on tracks like I Caught Fire, and All That I've Got where the band have really upped their melodies, and both have huge choruses you can't help but hum for hours afterwards. Meanwhile on Let It Bleed and SoundEffects & OverDramatics. The crushing guitars and blood curdling screams are closer to the heavier bands in this genre like From Autumn to Ashes.
However it's not all good. The first 6 tracks are amazing, but then we lead into the first of 4 quieter tracks: Yesterday's Feelings. These softer songs seem to standout, not because of their dynamic, but because, in my opinion, they're simply not as well written as the other songs on the album. The emotion that made their debut album's solitary quiet song On My Own such a fantastic break from the rest of the album, while at the same time conveying a sense of dread, does not seem to be as evident here.
However, the band clearly recognise the importance of leaving on the right note, when directly after the quirky pop of Lunacy Fringe, Bert starts the spoken word introduction to awesome album closer I'm A Fake. Anyone with any appreciation for this style of music will be entirely won over by the end of the song when the chaos subsides and Bert is left screaming the title on his own.
A good follow up album, which has some great moments, but ultimately does not match the consistency of their 4.5 star debut album.