"The Blackest Beautiful" (Epitaph; 2013)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

letlive are a post-hardcore band from Los Angeles, California. I'm not sure what labels mean any more -- I guess it's the type of music they play. Labels aside, let me throw some adjectives your way instead: heavy, melodic, quick and unique. I like the lead singer's approach to singing; he's quick with his lyrics, he screams to get his point across and speaks in a gritted teeth tone before he explodes. Jason Aalon Alexander Butler has a really good voice. His range depends on the songs -- sometimes he's screaming, other times he's singing. There are some overdubs with his voice so there's usually a lot going on vocally during a song.

The guitar punches through each song. There aren't any memorable riffs to speak of but, when Jean Francisco Nascimento releases his quick slap riffs you'll know it. He also does a lot picking which gives a lot of structure to the songs. Jean doesn't have any solos but he's got such a cool style of playing that he lets other parts of the guitar talk for him instead. The bass is great on this disc as well. There are a lot of mini bass solos and Ryan Jay Johnson plays that four string apocalypse like a master. The drums go in line with the bass and guitar when letlive lays down a nasty bridge. Lionel Robinson took over stick smashing duties from Anthony Rivera and you'll need to hear the disc a couple of times to listen to all the time changes taking place.

A lot of this disc is experimental in a way. One track will be straight forward and the next might be a mesh of Nirvana and Rage Against the Machine. It's definitely a very unique band which is why I said that labels don't mean that much when you can't pinpoint a sound. I'll just say that they've got a very "scratch your head" type of sound. This is their third disc, the first two didn't chart but "The Blackest Beautiful" should take care of that after you give it a listen.

There are eleven tracks on this disc and that's plenty of music to absorb and then juice out on your second go around.

letlive: Jason Aalon Alexander Butler - lead vocals; Ryan Jay Johnson - bass guitar, backing vocals; Jean Francisco Nascimento - guitar; Jeff Sahyoun - guitar, backing vocals.

For more information check out these sites - http://thisisletlive.com and http://www.facebook.com/theletlive

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

Back to CD Reviews Home

Back to RoughEdge.com Home

Copyright 2013 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 28 Nov 2021 13:23:28 -0500.