Album Review... Peace - In Love

Debut albums are often perceived as the judgement day for many much-hyped bands; Peace being one of them. In the last year or so, the Birmingham boys have helped stamp their foot on the map alongside bands like Swim Deep and Jaws; expanding out and creating a whole new music scene there. After signing to major label Columba and releasing their debut EP ‘Delicious’ in 2012, Peace have brewed up a big following and gigged their way to the top of the new music pile where they have been hotly tipped for big things.

‘In Love’ has received mixed opinions as the band change their sound more and more. The storming opener ‘Higher Than The Sun’ sets a high standard and overall summary of the album; a romantic nostalgia-sodden feel good dream full of big guitars and easy chanting choruses.

The album’s 1990s influence is strong throughout the album whether it’s the grungy dark ‘Follow Baby’; their first single which was re-recorded for a re-release, ‘Lovesick’, which could easily feature on a 90’s teenage rom-com, or ‘Waste of Paint’ which demonstrates the albums heavily percussive Madchester influence, the band have mixed these together to create something unique and very current. There is also psychedelic influences later in the album with dark surf-rock tunes like ‘Step A Lil Closer’, ‘Toxic’ and ‘Scumbag'.

‘Float Forever’ takes the more fragile guitar tones of Graham Coxon from Blur and is nearly always compared to ‘California Daze’ in its style and vocal phrasings. Peace show off what they’re all about lyrically in this song. Harrison sings ‘If you’re not happy wearing denim, you’re a devil in disguise’ and ‘If there’s dew drops in the darkness they’re hiding from your eyes’. I get the nostalgic feeling of petty happenings within friendships and relationships becoming the most important things in life.
‘Wraith’, their biggest single to date, boasts the interesting topic of falling in love with a prostitute; which is obviously extremely relatable – the video even more so. It was released around the same time as Foals’ ‘Inhaler’ and I always thought this song could slot in nicely to Holy Fire. The lyrics of this song are similar to that of ‘Waste of Paint’ (‘Waste of Paint’ has ‘’you’re electric honey you blow my brain’’ where as Wraith has ‘‘you could be my ice age sugar, lay me down and make me shiver’’). It grooves well and is extremely catchy with great production. The lounge MIDI ending is a great little bonus and reminds me of Flight of the Conchords.

‘Drain’ is also another one of my favourite songs on the album, even if the riff reminds me of Losing My Religion by REM. The conceptual crazy orchestra modulation which decides to take front saddle twice during the song is highly memorable and something not many songs could get away with, very similar to A Day In The Life by The Beatles in that respect. The breakdown consisting of gated drums and guitar FX works brilliantly.

‘California Daze’, voted no.13 in NME’s Best Tracks of 2012 is one of the most anthemic, dreamy songs on the album. When it first appeared on debut EP ‘Delicious’, it showed clear contrast to the three other indie/alternative songs. It instantly oozes nostalgic summer vibes. It’s ambitious given the rest of the album’s sound but works really well against it. The imagery lyrics of ‘she tastes like sunlight’ and ‘forget and forgive there’s a place you can live’ make my mind sink away in to some nice little dream.

‘Bloodshake’ was the song which got all the initial fans in to Peace. It used to be named ‘Bblood’ but was re-recorded and renamed for release with Columba. It spits out afro-rhythmic percussion and guitar lines which you’ll find in nearly every new indie band at the moment.

Peace have subtly pushed things forward in style and trend this year. Their 90s influence couldn’t be timed any better as the dance music scene is rekindling it’s love for 90s soul and garage. The more I listen to ‘In Love’, the more I realise how much I’m addicted to it. The band has a signature song-writing style and image and I can only see them progressing positively.

Peace - In Love
Out of 10: 8/10

Written by - Courtney Askew-Conti

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