Growing as a band while avoiding the scene bullshit around them, letlive.’s third record, Fake History, begs to break apart the past 10 years of metal and fuse it with a dose of danceable riffage into a gorgeous array of hardcore beauty. Filled with dynamic shifts and tempo changes, intricately laced musicianship, and interesting and insightful lyrics, nothing really goes wrong or feels out of place making Fake History one of the most solid releases 2010 has seen thus far.
Influenced by a wide collection of bands, letlive. show off the ferocity of Every Time I Die, dynamism of Glassjaw, and the abstract, metaphorical lyrics that rival the obscurity of a Dance Gavin Dance track. Opening with a jungle beat into a few whispered lines before exploding into a shouted section proclaiming, “stand up” in a pleading manner. The album continues grabbing you by the throat until you hit “Muther.” The dance-ability hits full strength on “Renegade ‘86” containing fast paced melodies and a catchy voice with a nice backing line and a fun guitar line. The song drives consistently throughout until you hit a speech-like breakdown before going into full-on breakdown mode. This dance feel comes back even stronger on “Homeless Jazz” following through the same type of formula.
“Muther” slows things down a bit and brings in a female guest vocalist and soothing melodies. While the intensity is down, letlive. don’t let anything stop their interesting nature flowing perfectly into a jazzy, piano-dominated bridge. Lyrically focusing on the hardships of a now single, pregnant woman, the song hits hard on that front giving a reality to the situation singing “when remorse is born remorse won’t see an ounce of child support.”
On the vocal front, Jason Aalon swings violently through each song switching from passionate screams and shouts to angelically tinged, high cleans. The shift from one range to the next is impressive at the least, and fits perfectly with the dynamic abilities of the rest of the members. Aalon’s lyrical content focuses on the likes of materialism, religion, and the concept of death. “Casino Columbus” calls out the sheep-like American middle class using the term “bourgeoisie” as their descriptor. Closer, “Day 54,” takes an ode to friendship and takes a nice swipe at the scene proclaiming, “fuck drugs and fuck straight edge those are both the things that got the best of my friends.” The song is a fitting end to the record singing “all our memories at discount prices.”
Having been four years since their sophomore release, Fake History was definitely the result of time well spent. Each note and lyric is well placed and as genuine as could get. Without regrets and only looking forward, letlive. have a long road ahead of them in the musicians world with a perfect record to support them in their dreams.