Review: If I’m The Devil…

Californian four-piece letlive. released their latest album, If I’m The Devil…, on Friday, and it’s an exciting post-hardcore LP with subtle hip-hop and indie influences to keep things fresh.  The release is their first since previous guitarist and percussionist Jean Nascimento left the band last year.  letlive. are well known for their experimental sound, and their latest LP certainly continues that trend.  The release was preceded by two singles; see the video for Reluctantly Dead below, which incidentally is one of my favourites from the album.

(By the way, the entire album is available to stream via Epitaph Records’ YouTube channel – pretty cool right?)

The album begins with opener I’ve Learned To Love Myself, a track with booming drums and subtle strings which add a real depth.  The first couple of tracks are fairly slow in tempo, but picks up with the soulful female vocals in the introduction to Good Mourning, America.  This track doesn’t shy away from discussing police brutality, an issue which has been prevalent in the American media for the past 18 months or so.

The title track is a slow burner, with an extremely atmospheric introduction that eventually picks up to match the tone of the rest of the album, reaching a crescendo during the second chorus. Final track Copper Colored Quiet is another atmospheric number, with female backing vocals adding a unique tone to the track; the song naturally winds down and brings everything to a close.

Throughout the album is underpinned by vocalist Jason’s unique voice, strong drumming and undulating bass.Whilst I haven’t followed letlive. religiously, I was a big fan of singles Muther, Renegade ’86, Banshee (Ghost Fame) and Younger when they were released, so going into their latest album I had a pretty good idea of what to expect.

Overall If I’m The Devil… is slower in tempo than previous releases, which means the album is more cohesive, in my opinion anyway.  This more relaxed tempo makes the album a more chilled listening experience, plus demonstrates that you don’t have to release fast-paced tracks to produce powerful music.

letlive. have a habit of producing albums full of heart, with lyrics that pull no punches whether on the topics of love, loss, family or politics.  Fans of the band’s previous releases will definitely enjoy If I’m The Devil…, and new listeners will find their latest release an excellent introduction.  There have been a lot of excellent releases so far this year, but I can see this letlive. LP shaping up as one of my favourites.

Highlights: I’ve Learned To Love Myself, Good Mourning, America, A Weak Ago, Foreign Cab Rides

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