Best of 2016 Playlist

July 1, 2016

letlive - "If I'm the Devil..." Review

It's been almost a month since letlive's latest album was released. Why didn't we bother to post the review sooner? Would it be ridiculous to say we were too busy enjoying the album? Because we were. It's bound to be on "Best of 2016" lists come December. 

To buy the album on iTunes please click the following (link). And click either of these links to read our reviews of singles, "Good Mourning America" or "Reluctantly Dead"

letlive have never been one of those bands to mince words. They'll tell you like it is, whether you agree or not. On their 4th record, they stay true to that philosophy. Frontman Jason Butler reminds listeners that he isn't shy about sharing his opinions on topics such as police brutality, war, and political corruption. Though the music is far more experimental than on previous albums, at letlive's core they're about as punk rock as a band can get. The band are doing for post hardcore what Rage Against the Machine did for rap rock in the 90s. 

letlive's sound since 2010's "Fake History" has progressively shown more and more soul/funk inspiration. Stemming from Butler himself, who has gone on to say he would like to incorporate more hip hop, blues, and electronic in future releases (ref). 

Butler's voice has its moments when it seems to dip into hip hop and soul. Thankfully for fans of the band's edgier, heavier music, Butler never strays far from his usual emotionally-charged screams. In fact, while the band may show their skills and willingness to branch out during this album, it's when they do their "soul-punk" that they're strongest. Those songs might not be anything "new" to listeners, but like they say, "If it ain't broke don't fix it". Butler's voice is in peak form, and we wouldn't expect anything less from him. The songs themselves are only eclipsed by their live versions, where you can really see Butler come alive in his delivery. 

The "down-and-dirty" vibe on songs like "A Week Ago" and "Another Offensive Song" keep old fans coming back. While the overall sound of the album is considerably "toned down" compared to previous releases, the raw quality we've come to expect from the band is still here. The record also sees the band trying something a bit more melodic than past music, "I've Learned to Love Myself" and the album's title track in particular are acquired tastes. And if you do acquire them, these two songs could easily be your favorites off the album. 

letlive is, in a nutshell, Enter Shikari but with more soul and funk influences than their UK counterparts. The band's politically charged themes root the music in punk rock. At the same time, this allows them to branch out some, and try new things. While still pleasing old fans and new ones alike. This is a must have for any fans of Enter Shikari, Thrice, and Rise Against. 

Favorite Tracks
The album's lead single edges out the competition. Close runners-up include: "A Week Ago", "Another Offensive Song" and the title track.  

Rating - 8/10