letlive

"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.

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Copyright 2013 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 12 Feb 2017 13:05:52 -0500.