Let it All Burn – Love Ghost (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

It’s tough being a teenager. No, I really mean it. You don’t know what you want but you want it all now. You don’t know where you are going but you needed to be there yesterday. You want to be everywhere at once but you don’t know how to get there, or even where “there” is. Your mind is the most agile and active it is ever going to be and it feels the most hemmed in. You are free of the responsibilities that will come with adulthood but that means that you don’t have the access to the resources you need to engage with the world either. No wonder teenagers seem so frustrated with their lot. What to do, what to do. You can either play merry hell, kick against those frustrations, let that coiled spring of angst unwind. Or you can do what Love Ghost does and channel those feelings and that world view into a song.

They did just that so eloquently on Nowhere and they do it again on Let it All Burn. Only this time they have gone beyond just being dismayed by the situation they are presented with and instead propose burning everything down and rebuilding the world anew. It’s the spirit of punk. It’s the ethos of hip-hop. It’s the cornerstone of rock and roll. It is the beating heart of Love Ghost! Evolution may be the way of the world, but Revolution is where it’s at!

And Love Ghost approach the subject with their usual blend of light and shade. Their’s is a sound which is full of melodic hooks and dynamic shifts, infectiousness and accessibility, but it is also one infused with hidden depths, darker moods and angular edges. And it is those opposing forces which make for a sound which is both appealing and commercial yet edgy and likely to find favour with the more discerning rock cognoscenti too.

And it is only on about the third play through that I notice something which should have been apparent right from the off. The viola has gone! For a band who put those sonics to such great use, they are now proving that their songs were more than just about those unusual sounds. Unusual for a rock band at least. Without them they can still write appealing alt-rock anthems, can still grunge it out with the best of them, that as exotic and enticing as those sweet, meandering sounds and otherworldly washes were, they were just one small part of the sonic make up of the band. They will survive. They have survived. This is the proof!

This is the new look Love Ghost, and despite them slotting back into more conventional instrumentation arrangements, Let it All Burn proves beyond doubt that they still have what it takes and that they passed though the oft tricky business of line up changes without breaking a sweat. Let it All Burn is the sound of teenage angst, of hating the way the world is, of wanting to change things, for better or worse. It’s the feeling that we have all had and to be honest, with the way the world is spiralling off into darker and more turbulent directions, it’s the feeling that people of all ages can relate too for all sorts of reasons. Perfect timing guys!

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