Nine Black Alps traveled from Manchester to Los Angeles to record their second album, Love/Hate with producer Dave Sardy, who had previously worked with Marilyn Manson and Rage Against the Machine. There wasn't much influence, however, from these two artists as Nine Black Alps released a melodic indie rock album with some tunes to even match Oasis, especially the songs "Painless," "Future Wife," and "Happiness and Satisfaction." Unfortunately, Sam Forrest didn't possess the vocal snarl of the Gallagher's and they were left as rather insipid rock songs because of the lack of emotion. The pace was relentless with the guitar and drums crashing almost non-stop, although they did take a breather at the beginning of "Pet Hate," which opened as if it were going to be a ballad. The final track however, "Under the Sun," did slow it down a lot, but was a poor song without a melody, and therefore a bad way to finish an album. "Heavier Than Water" was a good title for the track; it was by far the heaviest track on the album, with howling feedback guitar and a real thumping beat, although "So in Love" was an amateurish sounding song that could have come straight of the punk era when anything goes, however unreasonable it sounded. The debut album Everything Is, received a lot of press coverage as an angry statement made by a modern day band, although it failed to cross over in the charts and the mainstream. Love/Hate was less full of anger as if they had grown up a little since 2005, but it was even less successful. Maybe they should have remained in the gritty north of England rather than the gloss of America's West Coast.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Sharon Mawer