Wednesday, August 24, 2011

REVIEWS: LIFE ON REPEAT - STRUGGLE + SLEEP


"Struggle + Sleep"
Artist: Life On Repeat
Title: Struggle + Sleep
Year: 2011
Genre: Pop Punk
Rate: 6

Review: The group promoted a “pay what you want” structure for their Brian McTernan-produced EP “As I Grew” in 2009, which vaulted the act from its humble roots to sharing the stage with artists like Chiodos, Versa Emerge, The Ataris, and more. Now Life On Repeat has settled down with Taylor Larsen (Of Legends, Sky Eats Airplace) at the producing helm to write, record, and release their new album “Struggle + Sleep.”

Leaving nothing to chance, Life On Repeat puts their best foot forward with their album opener, title-track, “Struggle + Sleep,” which sees a potent mixture of catchy melodic guitars and clashing percussion, and will leave the band’s pop-punk fans with a taste of post-hardcore in their mouth. Patrick Purves continues to match the quality in his songwriting with the beauty of his vocals, by not only crafting an effort that discusses the dire situations that lead to cycles of merely surviving with little to look forward to, but also belting out an impressive vocal performance — from soulful singing, to straining shouts, and calm conversation. 

It’s funny to note that despite the newly founded post-hardcore bite of “Struggle + Sleep,” Patrick’s lyrics are still filled with girl-centered, pop-punk quotes — such as a sappy, lovable paragraph from “Southern Girls,” “And I remember the day that I met you. Ya, I remember those things that you said. You told me that you would love me forever. And it’s girls like you that make me wish I never left there.”

As the album spins on you’ll notice that Life On Repeat really embraces the dominance of guitars in their mix. Guitarists Andrew Baylis and Zach King really open up this album to its full potential. From the compounding fretwork of “The Need, Not The Cause,” the outstanding bridge of “Feet Under,” and dueling guitars of “Layover Letdown,” there is always a set of soaring melodic guitars put front and center — which is a main reason “Struggle + Sleep” doesn’t fall flat after repeated listens. Even the effort’s acoustic staple track “Without You Here” feels lively with a bustling of jangling acoustics, light percussion, violins, and team-singing. Fans of artists in the same vein as Lower Definition, Decoder, and Consider The Thief have easily found their new intricate string fix with Life On Repeat.

Tracklist: 1. Struggle & Sleep; 2. The Waiting Game; 3. The Need, Not The Cause; 4. Southern Girls; 5. Rock The Boat; 6. Feet Under; 7. Layover Letdown; 8. Sinking; 9. Without You Here; 10. Wide Awake.

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