We at MindEqualsBlown.net have made our love for Los Angeles’ letlive. known multiple times. Besides an extremely favorable review of Fake History by Mat Colwell, the band became the first participant in MEB Acoustic Sessions with their new rendition of “Homeless Jazz,” and our long-anticipated interview with the band will finally see light this week. Since then, the boys have signed with Epitaph records and re-released Fake History with 3 new tracks. We’d be remiss to not check out the new offerings.
While longterm fans will jump right to the extras, newbies and diehards alike should examine the original 11 tracks that comprise Fake History. Besides being sensational songs, these re-mastered recordings legitimately sound better than what we heard last year. Whether vocalist Jason Butler is screaming, straining, or singing, he is more pristine than ever here, along with notable differences in the clarity of the music. This version made my #2 album of 2010 that much more enjoyable (as if I didn’t have enough ll.ove).
On to the new. Directly following the old tracks is “Hollywood, and She Did,” the first of three new additions. This one isn’t nearly as jazzy or genre-busting as some of their other songs, but fits nicely with the collection. Some always-vicious Butler screams backed by solid riffage take the track into a clean chorus that simply works.
With the warm Southern California weather coming back after ridiculous cold and rain, I’ve been blaring “Lemon Party” with the windows down (accompanied by my own mediocre singing). Never would I have expected to dub a letlive. song catchy, fun, or a perfect sing-along, but the track easily fits the labels while somehow still working in the band’s musical realm. The upbeat, spanish-influenced guitar screams for radio-attention (in a perfect world, this would be a huge hit), and Butler shows an ability to lead without ever going to his patented screams. I could see this type of material playing a larger role in their next record as Butler continues to excel as a vocalist.
Closing things up is “This Mime [A Sex Symbol],” the last of the bonus tracks. The singing/screaming ratio favors cleans much more than the rest of the record, with Butler free-flowing his way across the track. It isn’t quite as strong as the other two additions, though it fits with everything neatly enough that it doesn’t devalue the other 13 songs.
If you didn’t own this record before, you certainly should now. “Lemon Party” has already made its way into my top songs of 2011, and may help Fake History find it’s way onto my end of year lists for the second year in a row. Check out a full HQ stream of the record on rocksound.tv and purchase your copy via Epitaph’s online store.