City of Glass

New album by Love Ends Disaster!

Reviewed by Richard Lewis 15/8/2010

Hailing from Leicester, Love Ends Disaster!’s similarities with fellow residents Kasabian begin and end with the same postcode. Eschewing the dance rock of their neighbours, L.E.D. primarily deal in the same emotive rock as the likes of The Futureheads and Editors. Several ambient passages thrown into the mix however show the band has a broader sound palate than just bands of the past few years. Opening track City of Glass glides in on the same shimmer My Bloody Valentine patented early on in their career.

Track two ‘Suzanne’ powers along on a riff that would do Editors proud, backed with Beatles-esque harmonies. Breaking down halfway to include an ondes martinot-style instrumental passage. The instrument the original Star Trek theme was composed on establishes the sci-fi theme continued elsewhere. ‘There’s Room in My Tardis for Two’ salutes the Timelord’s preferred mode of transport with more churning MBV-style guitar and straight ahead Bloc Party rhythm section. Meanwhile the sleazy ‘Killer Bombs’ sounds dimly like the track played by the bar band in ‘Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me’

‘The Rudiments of Piano Playing (Parts One and Two)’ slopes past in a haze of treated piano noise, a keyboard counterpoint to Sonic Youth’s ‘Providence’, piano playing on morosely as guitar amps fizzle out behind it. ‘Ladders’ has the same taut drum and razorwire guitar line as The Futureheads, before morphing into what sounds like the Pearl and Dean tune that used to follow the adverts in the cinema in decades past.

‘Untitled (Dream No.24)’ starts slowly as a forlorn ballad before shape-shifting through a Futureheads style break only to return to its original course. Extremely well played and certainly unexpected, it becomes disconcerting when the trick is repeated, breaking the atmosphere of some of the tracks. The intense ‘Alexander’ begins with a sinister, Eastern-sounding guitar figure like wailing sirens, only to wander off into an electronic mist similar to the sound Radiohead minted on ‘Idioteque’.

‘Knight Takes Queen’ is more arty soundscaping, accompanied by a voice similar to HAL from ‘‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ as the power runs down on him. ‘Sunday 19th November 1978’ - a slightly worthy sounding piano ballad - is followed by sixty-second throwaway ‘Pigtails’. The energised ‘This Song’, with lyrics concerning getting onto the Radio One playlist is a barbed attack on the current state of the music industry. Bemoaning the compromises deemed necessary to become a chart success, the track lurches into grunge interludes between verses and choruses, before switching halfway through into a slow ballad reminiscent of early Suede.

Concluding with the almost acappella ‘King of the Castle’, Love Ends Disaster! have been brave enough to craft their own sound, although at times the group’s songwriting may need slightly longer in gestation before it can be felt in full effect.

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