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February 2021
Review

LIFE - Popular Music

LIFE combine inescapable energy with unshakable hooks.
LIFE - Popular Music
Published: 10:52 am, May 23, 2017
LIFE combine inescapable energy with unshakable hooks.

'Album' of 'the Week'


Label: Afghan Moon
Released: 26th May 2017
Rating: ★★★★

Having spent three years cutting their teeth performing everywhere from Hull to Texas, LIFE have long built up a formidable reputation with their frenzied live shows. Debut album 'Popular Music' is everything that you'd expect following such a rise. It's blustering, it's brazen, it's even outright brawling in places. But so far so familiar. Where this record finds its strength is in the band's ability to combine their inescapable energy with unshakable hooks.

Opening track 'In Your Arms' is a rallying call to arms that forges its contagion through wry social commentary. Vocalist Mez Green makes no effort to disguise his distaste at the world around him, spitting out his words with a droll ferocity. Raging against its own construction, the album is a mix of anxiety and steadfast determination.

'Electricity' is the band at their most unhinged, proclamations of reassurance colliding with deafening cries of doubt. A reworked version of early single 'Take Off With You' appears as 'Beautifully Skint' as a resonating standout. Stepping out of their comfort zone to create what's as close as you can get to a punk ballad, the group demonstrate that there's so much more to what they're capable of creating.

LIFE have never been ones to offer a perfectly polished product. "I should have been sick, I should have been appalled, instead I waited patiently 'til my number was called," a voice utters between tracks - an attempt at creating something cinematic that falls a little short of the mark. But perfectly polished has never been this band's aim. LIFE's charm lies in the unabashedly raw nature of the sounds they create, and on 'Popular Music' they supply that in abundance. Jessica Goodman

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