LoveLikeFire - Tear Ourselves Away
Whilst growing up, classically trained violinist Ann Yu was unable to indulge in her passion because of her parents’ refusal to allow her to listen to any form of pop music. Couple this with sharing a flat and rehearsal space in Las Vegas with The Killers and it is unsurprising that this debut album from LoveLikeFire bristles with angst and frustration at the inadequacies and unfairness of life.
‘William’, an ode to lost love, kickstarts the album with a slow burning, almost shoegazing intro that soon leads into a powerful midsection with Yu’s voice to the fore. A false ending in the mid-point slowly leads us back to the beginning and powers through to the end. ‘From a Tower’ follows and provides evidence of a Killers-like approach to song dynamics that can be heard throughout the album but, for the most part, Yu’s voice carries this off far better than the numerous sub-Brandon Flowers copyists that have polluted our airwaves in recent years.
‘Signs’ is a punchy goth-rock song reminiscent of Evanescence at their best and is the undoubted highlight of the album. Sadly, the plus points so far accumulated are slightly negated as the low point follows hot on its heels. ‘I’ve Pissed Off My Friends’ is a dreary ballad with the title unnecessarily shoehorned into the dull lyrics as often as possible. This leads to a series of songs that seem to drift along with no fresh or interesting ideas until ‘Far From Home’ and ‘Stand In Your Shoes’ pick up the pace again with the driving rhythms that complement the lyrics and Yu’s delivery again far better than the mundanity of the middle section.
‘Everything Must Settle’ brings us full circle and closes the album with a return to the winning formula laid down at the very start. What is left is the memory of a solid, if slightly wayward, debut UK album but with the hope that the initial promise can be built upon in the future.