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MORE THAN LIFE

Love let me go

Album review

There is no doubt that More Than Life have always been known to belong to the more emotional side of the underground hardcore scene since the five piece first formed in the south west of the UK in 2007, but it is their debut album Love let me go, that ca ptures their depressing and aggressive sound in an extremely excitable collective. Rather than being a selection of songs that a band have half-heartedly clumped into an album, Love let me go feels more like a an emotional release for frontman James Matt hews to vent his feelings and as a listener, it feels as you are almost intruding into the darker parts of his diary, Much like most of the bands also signed to Purgatory Records.

The opening track of the album, Scarlet Skyline, introduces the album to a very slow and dark arpeggio surrounded by feedback which quickly builds into rich,driving guitars and raging drums. This track in particular features some of the most emotional lyrics within the entirety of the albums content and it seems as though James Matthews is remembering the vicious life of a close relative he recently lost. The first night of autumn is one of the tracks on the album that really shows off just how much depth and tone the sound of the album has. Although the drum tones (Mainly the snare) featured on Love let me go do not seem rendered as punchy as they could have been, the depth and width of the mix make for a very intimate and personal tone, mainly due to the lower frequencies being boosted, inducing a state where it feels as though you are standing only a meter away from drummer Tony Kleins kit.

The quick mid-album, interlude-like track Black eyed also shows off the production side of the album as the slow rhythm allows the booming floor tom too echo around your headphones. When the lead guitar comes in half way through the track, a thick and very spacious reverb belts the sound of an unmistakably big venue.

Most of the album sticks to a constant, hard-driving tempo with gritty and aggressive dynamics which can especially be seen in tracks such as Take my life away where a pumping build up leads the way to an adrenaline fueled frenzy of emotion.

Silent grey starts with a very different dynamic style with soft and relatively quiet (Compared to the rest of the album) guitar picking, but soon soars into the catchiest riff on the album surrounded by a mid-tempo drum groove, giving the listener their first chance to comfortably nod their head to the beat for the first time on the album, without ending up with whiplash.

Towards the closing leg of the album, the song Daisy Hill takes a relatively different approach to its intro compared to most of the other songs off the album. Joey Bayes introduces the track with extremely mellow, dampened guitar swells, layered over subtle feedback. All of these combined elements result in a relatively warm and ambient calming sound, or as calm as it can be for a hardcore band.

Obsession, the closing song off the record features a vocal sample from the film Meet Joe Black, which perfectly projects what the More Than Life are all about and the messages behind their songs. The absence of vocals and drums in the track creates a focus point around the minor style dual guitar arpeggios and the sample. The whole song is a gradual stepping stone to the last song off the album and clears the way for it to drive through, ending the album with the extremely powerful title song and what has now become the most popular song off the record.

Love let me go is an extremely relevant song to close the album with because lyrically, the song reflects and sums up the whole ideology revolving around the album and purely due to the fact that Andrew Fisher of Basement features, one of the strongest and highest regarded vocalists from the underground emo scene.

It opens up with a verse extremely distinctive of More Than Lifes Style. Classic, chunky power chords, A relatively fast and offbeat style of a skank beat and a lead melody played relatively high up the fretboard. Although this track sonically follows most other songs from the album, the Lead guitar octaves and melodies seem to shine through in a more powerful and hard-hitting sense create a feeling it is leading all of the other instrumental factors within the song.

The last minute and a half of the record see Andrews vocals plough in and although it does not necessarily follow his common vocal style, the tone and rawness of his voice fits the genre of music extremely well. James Matthews proceeds to re-enter the song with his vocals layered side by side with andrews and the high pitch of his voice compared to Andrews low, raspy style as a collective, compliments the song perfectly.

Although Love let me go can be musically repetitive and familiar at times, it is the pure fury of soul and passion that the band successfully convey throughout the record time and time again that has contributed to More Than Lifes sudden escalation to fame. The new wave of underground hardcore featuring bands such as Touche Amore and Pianos Become The Teeth has brought a huge amount of focus to the underground hardcore scene and with the release of Love Let Me Go, it is safe to say that More Than Life are now a solid driving force behind the movement.