Los Angeles, California’s letlive. have been putting out music since 2002. But it wasn’t until the 2011 rerelease of the band’s second album Fake History by Epitaph Records, that they began to generate (positive) media attention. This resulted in tours with the likes of Enter Shikari and Deftones, bringing their mish mash of Post-Hardcore, Experimental Rock and a variety of other genres to a bigger audience. This makes The Blackest Beautiful a very important record, as it could launch letlive. into world domination. And it sounds like it does, sort of…
With The Blackest Beautiful, letlive. deliver their most experimental and diverse, yet ‘poppy’ record until now. The album was preceded by single ‘Banshee (Ghost Fame)’, also the first song on the record. Combining a kind of early Red Hot Chili Peppers / Suicidal Tendencies Funkrock with furious Post-Hardcore and poppy clean vocals. Everything sounds smooth and natural, not in the way that the band wanted to combine genres to get a unique sound. Together with the video, which shows a very energetic group of guys, this is pretty much the blueprint of the whole album.
The 11-track long album shows us a world full of infidelity, greed and corruption. A combination of heavier work (‘Empty Elvis’ and the very epic closer ’27 club’) and some ‘softer’ songs, which make great use of electronic sounds (‘White America’s Beautiful Black Market’, ‘Younger’). A standout track is ‘Virgin Dirt’, which features a impressive and intense vocal delivery by (only original member) Jason Aalon. Also, the very few breakdowns letlive. uses in their music are spot-on, like in ‘That Fear Fever’. Although The Blackest Beautiful may sound like a difficult record to sit through, but the little and most of the time funny dialogues at the end of some songs make this album somewhat more lighter.
The only thing about The Blackest Beautiful that bothers me a bit is the production, handeld by the band themselves and Kit Walters. It may sound a bit too raw and dry for such a layered album like this. Still, letlive. has deliverd their best and diverse record to date. And with being a great live band, world domination will probably come soon enough.
Track list – The Blackest Beautiful:
1. Banshee (Ghost Fame)
2. Empty Elvis
3. White America’s Beautiful Black Market
4. Dreamers Disease
5. That Fear Fever
6. Virgin Dirt
8. The Dope Beat
9. The Priest and Used Cars
10. Pheromone Cvlt
11. 27 Club
Catch letlive. on tour this Fall.