The vocal shifting of previous times is present even as early as “City of Champions”. LetLive continue their intense assault on the listener that began with “Exhaustion, Salt Water and Everything In Between”. What the band really seems to have changed with their formula on “Speak Like You Talk” is a tremendous amount of use of differing time signatures. This is a direct comment on all the hardcore bands that create difficult arrangements; LetLive shows that difficulty in arrangements can be tied to a very radio-friendly approach. “Beauty Queen Breast Stroke” is an attack on listeners from an incredible amount of perspectives, whether it be from metal, punk, emo or hardcore.
By far the most interesting track of the first half of the disc comes during “Stigmother”, a track that directly recalls Corrosion of Conformity in tying in sludge-metal to the emo formula that LetLive has cultivated through the last two albums. The most interesting thing on the disc has to be the half-talking entrance to “Skin Fuck Metal”, which rapidly gives up ground to an AFI style of layered punk/hardcore. The distortion on the guitars during the track seems a little bland for the rest of the music on the disc, but the other contributions to the track (the bi-polar vocals, mainly) really bring the track back up to the same quality of the rest of the tracks on the disc. “Incest As A Legacy” (I swear, does Letlive try to find the most offensive titles for their tracks or what) comes up with a brilliant three and four part vocal harmony in what has to be the most lush vocal ornamentation outside of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
“Don’t Fuck With Me Tiger…I’m Sick” is one major shift away from all of the other tracks on “Speak Like You Talk”… the tenuous vocals seem almost as if the vocalist is singing quietly to eirself that moving into the supersonic registers of previous tracks. The emotional content of Letlive goes through the roof with this track, and the simple path of the song really gives listeners one interpretation. The death that ends off “Don’t Fuck With Me Tiger” allows for a rebirth of the band’s intensity with the first section of “2 in 6.8 Billion”, a trilogy of tracks that really end the disc off well and allow for listeners to move easily to the as yet unreleased next album.
Top Tracks: Incest as a Legacy, Stigmother
Letlive – Speak Like You Talk / 2005 At One / 11 Tracks / http://www.letlivemusic.com / http://www.at1records.com / Reviewed 24 December 2005