It’s particularly fitting that Birmingham band Peace would call their debut record, In Love. What goes better together than peace and love? Rhetorical question of course! Nevertheless the UK four piece cut an amorous dash with their first offering. The bulk of In Love is buoyed by themes of heart swelling affection, a completely irony free slant on optimism and the kind of sun drenched tunes you wouldn’t expect from a band that reside in arguably the greyest city in the UK!
Things are kicked off with the luminescent ‘Higher Than The Sun’ which totally lives up to it’s name. Hazy guitars shimmer like that big ball of fire in the sky has possessed the fretwork of Harrison Koisser and Douglas Castle; equally the lolloping bass and groovy drum licks provided by Harrison’s brother, Sam, and Dominic Boyce respectively, are pure vitamin D in their delivery. “You take the dollar/I’ll take the dime” coos frontman Harrison insinuating that his band of bros prefer the simpler things in life, what more do you need than the music in your heart and the sun on your back right?
The real loved up vibes manifest on ‘Lovesick’ which pays a debt to The Cure’s ‘Friday I’m In Love’. “I wanna get lovesick/I wanna get lovesick with you” populates the tracks affectionate chorus with glowing riffs and upfront drumming fluttering around Harrison’s wordplay about not needing food, drink or sleep, love is all he needs. The groovy ‘Waste of Paint’ rattles out like a booty shaker with its baggy rhythms centred around a spidering guitar motif and wooed vocal harmonies. “You’re electric honey you blow my brain” kicks off the tracks chorus unashamedly beholden to Peace’s penchant to all things trippy and romantic. The only time In Love turns sour lyrically is on the snarling ‘Toxic’, a cathartic ode to a poisonous relationship, musically proceedings stay upbeat but Harrison’s delivery at times is pained but never fully woeful. “Stop trying to fill the heart-shaped hole in your chest” is a knowing nod to a relationship of convenience as opposed to true devotion.
Peace are a band of different dimensions musically aside from all the lyrically passion trips, ‘Follow Baby’ acts like a lost indie classic from the 90s with its buzz saw guitars that squall feedback, while ‘Wraith’ captures the band rolling out a tropical bent before delving into a Balearic piano breakdown that is a pure hands aloft festival slayer. The former touches on the quartet’s dance music influence with the rush of euphoria coming from those pulsing keys. Plus ‘Delicious’ (not to be mistaken for the band’s closing track on their Delicious EP, ‘1998 (Delicious)’ sounds like an entire albums worth of material squished together, that veers from the calm to the joyously chaotic.
For all the naysayers out there, In Love isn’t a vomit inducing, self indulgent voyage of the heart, although it does lean heavily on notions of love the record never sounds cheesy or forced, it’s a genuine collection of tunes delivered with optimism and warmth. Right now the world could do with falling In Love with Peace.
Words and Thoughts of Adam Williams