Love Like Fire ? Tear Ourselves Away (Heist or Hit) 14/08/2009

September 13, 2009 by  

LoveLikeFire - Tear Ourselves Away (2009)

Love Like Fire’s lead singer Ann Yu had as far from the archetypal rock ‘n’ roll upbringing as you could possibly imagine. The front-woman lead an restrictive life as a child where she was trained as a classical violinist and was forbidden by her parents to listen to pop music. Fast forward a few years and her situation could not of been any different. She found herself sharing apartment with fellow Vegas inhabitants the Killers and also shared their rehearsal space. Surely a dream start for any band, yet she found this as overbearing as her childhood and up-sticks and moved to San Francicso with the rest of the band. Come 2009 the quartet have finished their first UK full length release and look set on their way

Opening track ‘William’ is an unobtrusive start to proceedings. The song is an angst-ridden lament on a past failed relationship, which show’s of Ann’s captivating voice and set’s the lyrical tone of the album. For much of Tear Ourselves Away is outbursts of Ann’s angst, but never before has angst been sung so sweetly. Ann’s vocals are relatively unparallelled by the current crop of bands. On ‘Signs’ and recent single ‘Stand In Your Shoes’ they tower above the music, mixing all out wail with melodic deftness throughout and lyrically she manges to intertwine lament with uplifting harmonies superbly.

To accompany the arresting vocals is a sound which on the surface seems to be derived from early ’90s indie and the Arcade Fire. However, not in terms of the Canadian outfit’s use of orchestral elements, instead the two bands find common ground in their lust for anthemic arrangements. No more so than on ‘Good Judgement’ a multi-layered brooding anthem complete with soaring chorus and celestial melodies, which is just waiting to be released on stadium sized crowds. What does set the two bands apart is that Marty Mattern is a gluten for visceral lead lines and distorted riffs, which immediately grab your attention and add to the album’s intensity.

Tear Ourselves Away is an incredibly accomplished debut which combines classic indie elements, from low-key acoustic tracks to full on multi-layered walls of sound, to create a truly arresting album. Some might be put off by Ann’s brooding lyrics but the power and sheer beauty with which see sings them is worth a listen alone.

By Chris Cummins