Letlive – Exhaustion, Salt Water, and Everything in Between (CD)

Letlive is another band like Anatomy of a Ghost and Boys Night Out – a “new wave” of emo acts that intersperses both melodic “emo-core” vocals and screamed-out vocals to push their sound. While “Adjectives Might Work”, their first cut off of “Exhaustion, Salt Water, and Everything in Between”, is pretty much a sleeper, their second track is both much more radio friendly and catchy. “With a Mouth Sewn Shot” oscillates between a number of tempos and the strong lead guitars of the track (including an ample amount of guitar solos) really lead their track to an ending that is just much too soon. The vocal abilities of Jason are really shown during “Mouth”, considering the trauma that must be done to eir’s voice during the last section of the song, having eir switch between a melodic and screamed-out set of vocals seemingly every second. Letlive has the ability to blend their songs to the degree that there are similarities between the tracks, but only to a degree: each track may have these similarities but are different in a much deeper vein.

Moving onto “Comprehension is Overrated”, Letlive continues the same successful formula, but incorporates some heavy bass pedals and progressive metal guitar solos which threaten to overtake Jason’s vocals. The catchiness of the track is not provided by the melodic vocals; this time, the feelings that emanate from individuals are due to the gut-wrenching drumbeats and the vocals which verge on the “Cookie Monster” stereotype. The first track that doesn’t really introduce anything groundshaking is “Showcase Heart”; this is still a track that shows Letlive being on top of their game – the falsetto vocals of Jason on the track provide excellent contrast to the bass-laden drumbeats that place themselves beside eir. It is on “Showcase Heart” that the time signature of the rest of the band are modified in such a way to give Jason’s voice the ultimate amount of timidity – all the instruments drop away, and we are given the key to Jason’s soul, so small, so scared, fearing of being alone.

Overall, I will be surprised if Letlive doesn’t become a more well-known name in the next few months. They might have minor victories right now, being ranked on purevolume.com and the like, but it still isn’t MTV or major college radio. Letlive is a band that plays a popular style of music incredibly well, and it simply would be a shame if this promotion was the most recognition they will get. Pick “Exhaustion, Salt Water, and Everything in Between” up; an extraordinarily strong album in an era of singles.

Rating: 7.6/10

Top Track: Nightmare For Care

Letlive – Exhaustion, Salt Water, and Everything in Between / 8 Tracks / 2003 At One Records / http://www.letlivemusic.com / http://www.at1records.com / Released March 2004 / Reviewed 21 April 2004

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Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University. I have been the editor at NeuFutur / neufutur.com since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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