Peace – In Love

peace in love album review

The NME are calling it the best release so far this year. Vice said they’re ‘destined to change the world’. You could say Peace have been hotly tipped recently, and for good reason. 2012 EP Delicious was magnificent, and debut album In Love is as good, if not better.

Opener ‘Higher Than the Sun’ is full of bent guitar notes, rumbling basslines and the unmistakable vocals of frontman Harry Koisser which, although somewhat sickly sweet, complete Peace’s sound. Overdriven guitars kick off almost sleazy sounding single ‘Follow Baby’, which, again, features Mr Koisser effectively slobbering the lyrics all over your ears in his über drawl. Album highlight ‘Lovesick’, a ballad of skipping school and falling in love complete with a fabulously twangy chorus riff, captures the essence of the album; teenage romanticism in all its sweaty, pubescent glory. Although the chorus sounds suspiciously like The Cure’s ‘Friday I’m In Love’, and the lyrics are simple – “I wanna get lovesick/I wanna get lovesick with you” – this track epitomises teenage nonchalance with its simplicity, as do later tracks ‘Sugarstone’ and ‘Delicious’.

‘Float Forever’ is more stripped back, featuring just vocals and guitar to begin with, but soon builds up with drums and rhythm guitar. ‘Wraith’ features astoundingly good hi-hat work on drummer Dominic Boyce’s part, some interesting bongo drumming in the pre-chorus and arguably one of the catchiest lines ever written; “Blow me like a floating featheeer”, which Koisser completes with Peace’s signature slathering of vowel sounds. ‘Delicious’ morphs into a very Beatles inspired psychedelic number halfway through, with echoed vocals and a swirling soundscape that sounds rather out of place amongst the other very tight, clean songs that make up In Love. ‘Waste of Paint’ also shows signs of these psychedelic effects the band spontaneously employ with echoes galore and a riff similar to that in ‘Bloodshake’, a track from the Delicious EP.

‘Toxic’, although another sonic delight, with more slightly psychedelia-influenced production techniques, is slightly let down in the chorus line, “All I gotta do/All I gotta do is forget you”, where Harry Koisser whines the lyrics, almost like he’s trying to force them out for some emotional effect which isn’t really necessary. The album is brought to a close by ‘California Daze’, opening with soft guitars, which play off one another creating beautiful harmonies, as do the band’s voices with “oohs” and “aahs” which make a truly ethereal noise in parts. If you don’t feel reminiscent of your youth by the end of this, you were clearly never a teenager.

In short, In Love is glorious. Yes, Peace have used a formula that was forged by bands such as The Beatles in the 60s, but this is only their debut. Granted, there are extracts which sound far too familiar, but who cares? It works. It works so well that Vice may be right – maybe Peace will change the world.

Released on 25 March 2013 by Columbia Records