Love Is All

Nine Times That Same Song

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Love Is All were formed out of the remains of the indie pop group Girlfrendo, and they retain none of that band's slickness and polish in their new incarnation. They also take a giant step away from pop toward a more angular, jerky, and energetic brand of post-punk revivalism. Instead of Sarah Records, the touchstone is more like early Rough Trade. Instead of Heavenly, they look to Delta 5. What they don't do is sacrifice hooks and melody for noise or art's sake. Bathed in reverb and noise by producer Woodie Taylor, Nine Times That Same Song is a brilliant debut full of memorable songs and thrilling performances, equal parts ass-kicking and heartbreaking. From the opening blast of "Talk Talk Talk Talk," there's no doubt that Love Is All are plugged directly into an overloaded power source. On the uptempo tracks like "Spinning & Scratching" and "Ageing Has Never Been His Friend," the drums clatter like trashcan lids on pickup day, the bass and guitars scratch and scriggle wildly, the saxophone yaks up a storm, and Josephine Olausson's hyper vocals (think Clare Grogan with a switchblade in her tiny hand) ride the whole mess like a champion equestrian. When the group dials the energy back some on songs like "Turn the Radio Off" and the bewitching "Felt Tip," it is just as effective. Nine Times has no weak songs or half-baked ideas, and it sounds like the work of a band in total control of its sound and style. Put Love Is All firmly at the head of this class of post-punk revivalists.

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