News: letlive. call it quits, PVRIS tease new album, and Fall Out Boy release controversial track

Hi altrocklifers! This week has been a pretty busy one in terms of alternative and rock music news, so today I thought I’d round everything important up into one handy package for your reading pleasure.

letlive. call it quits after fifteen years

I can’t tell you how sad I was when I read the letlive. Facebook post on Friday, explaining that there would be “no further activity for the foreseeable future”.  The band have been going since 2002, and released four full length records and one EP during that time.  I was lucky enough to see letlive. perform at Leeds Festival in 2014, but unfortunately at the time I had never listened to their music, so I couldn’t really appreciate their awesome performance.

I only really got into letlive. last year, with the release of their most recent album If I’m The Devil…, which I consider one of the best albums released in 2016.  I’ll forever be disappointed that I was unable to see the band perform tracks from If I’m The Devil… live, but the band haven’t explicitly said that the band are gone for good, so maybe, just maybe, they’ll be back some day?  Wishful thinking I know.

PVRIS release a video teasing the release of their next album

Recently PVRIS announced a short run of shows, which led fans to believe that a new album, follow-up to 2014’s White Noise, would be on its way soon.  On Friday the band dropped a teaser video via the Rise Records YouTube channel.  Is the title of the video, All We Know Of Heaven, All We Need Of Hell, the name of their second full length record?  Maybe the first single to be released from the album?  Who knows.  The band are being very coy on social media and in interviews, so I’m looking forward to finding out.

Fall Out Boy release controversial new track

Fall Out Boy have never been a band that meets expectations, and they threw fan expectations out of the window on Thursday when they announced the release of their next album, MANIA.  The announcement, which included the release date of September 15th and discounted pre-order bundles, was accompanied by the album’s first single, Young And Menace.  The verses remind me a little of their most recent record, American Beauty/American Psycho, but the super EDM chorus is unlike anything Fall Out Boy have ever done before, so nobody really knows what the entire album will sound like.  Me? I haven’t decided if I like this latest track, I’m 100% on the fence.  However, my love of Fall Out Boy means I’ll be waiting impatiently for the next single.  Here’s the YouTube video for the track.


What do you think of the new Fall Out Boy track? How do you feel about letlive. calling it quits?  Let me know on my Facebook or Twitter page, or in the comment section below this post.

altrocklife’s top 5 albums of 2016

Hello altrocklifers! Today marks the last blog post I will be writing in 2016, and I thought the best way to conclude the year would be to round up the best albums released over the past twelve months.  Going back over my posts written throughout this year, as well as trawling my iTunes library to keep track of all the albums I’ve purchased, gave me a real nostalgia trip.  This year has been brilliant for rock and alternative music, and with new music from You Me At Six, Mallory Knox, Lower Than Atlantis, Frank Carter And The Rattlesnakes and more planned for release next year, I can’t wait to see how 2017 will be even better.  Without further ado, and in no particular order, here are the best albums of 2016.

The Stage – Avenged Sevenfold

Without doubt, The Stage is the album that had the biggest impact of 2016.  It was released as a surprise with very little promotion or marketing, and it did a great job of shaking up the world of rock and metal music.  As I said in my review of the album, anyone who was expecting a sequel to Hail To The King was proven wrong, as Avenged Sevenfold’s latest record harked back to their City Of Evil days and showed that the Californian band are anything but predictable.  Hopefully this record influences other bands to produce the music they love, without pandering to the mainstream audience and without giving a thought to what their fans or critics might think.

Bad Vibrations – A Day To Remember

When I originally reviewed this album back in September, I wrote that Bad Vibrations was going to be a competitor for my favourite album of the year.  Three months later, that assertion still stands true.  It’s not often that I can write an album review without any negative feedback, but A Day To Remember’s sixth full length album was one of the minority I listen to that get a 100% approval rating.  I’m constantly listening to this record: whether I’m doing my hair and make-up, or if I’m chilling in my bedroom, or I’m in my car head banging on the go.  I genuinely think this is one of the best records released all year, and I really hope I can see the band perform some of these tracks live next year.

Take Control – Slaves

When Slaves found mainstream success with the release of their first album, I was worried that the band would fade into obscurity or change their sound.  Thankfully their second record, Take Control, is just as fun and aggressively punk as its predecessor.  You can tell from the band’s music videos, such as the one above, that the Kent duo are having a brilliant time making music, and I’m having just as much fun listening to them.

If I’m The Devil… – Letlive.

I was the first to admit when reviewing this record that I’ve not listened to a lot of music by letlive.  I’d heard a few singles, sure but I had no idea what it would be like listening to one of their records from beginning to end.  If I’m The Devil… is an album bursting at the seams with anger and passion, but with a sound evolved enough from previous releases to demonstrate their progression as a band.  In my opinion, letlive. are one of the most underrated bands out there at the moment, and if you’ve not listened to their music extensively, then I’m sure that their latest album will have you hooked from first listen.

Death Of A Bachelor – Panic! At The Disco

This record was released in January 2016, and to me it seems like it’s managed to stick around and remain popular and in the public eye all year.  Even though Panic! At The Disco have abandoned their emo roots and become a one man pop band, I think Death Of A Bachelor‘s jazzy sound and vintage 1950s aesthetic has a mass appeal which seems to have won over even old school fans.

What were your favourite albums released this year? Let me know on my Facebook or Twitter page, or in the comment section below this post.

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