Love Is All
Edit this event
- Cargo, London »
- Love Is All »
Some bands ape one specific sound for fleeting success. Some spend their entire careers jumping from bandwagon to bandwagon in an attempt to keep an ever weakening grip on the zeitgeist du jour. And some bands find a way to take their worn-on-sleeve influences and combine them into an explosive entity that, while not always ground breaking, is a tantalizing, energetic beast to behold live and on record.
Sweden’s Love Is All are, thanks to a potent live show and debut album Nine Times That Same Song, one of those bands who fall into the latter category.
Having played at the same venue almost a year ago, Love Is All return to London’s Cargo to give the scruffy youths in tight jeans and cardigans in the front row a lesson in how to expertly perform indie-tinged post-punk that fuses angular (a word that is, unfortunately, starting to border on passé in the year of the glow stick) lashings of guitar with a mighty serving of jangle pop and a dash of mod-psychedelia.
Stepping out to a packed crowd, the band, upon first glimpse, look road weary after an incessant touring schedule over the past year. Yet any visible signs of exhaustion are quickly laid to rest when the band plug in and let loose on album opener ‘Talk Talk Talk’. A thumping blast of pop dipped art rock that, thanks to saxophone player Fredrick Eriksson wrestling blasts of high-octane skronk from an instrument still woefully underappreciated in the modern indie rock world, takes a cue from the manic styling of James Chance. ‘Aging Has Never Been His Friend’ struts its stuff around the stage like a hot, sweaty encounter between the Raincoats and every jangly band you can think of, while ‘Spinning and Scratching’ is broken down into a mass exercise in communal singing for the audience.
Throughout this tightly controlled and energetic display of prime rock’n’roll, front woman Josephine Olausson keeps all eyes on her with a demeanour that’s best described as the stylish lovechild of a cranked up Björk and the hippest librarian in the world. It’s a winning formula that’s only helped by a slight lisp to her accented English and the sincere thanks she gives after every song. The audience eats it up and you can practically hear everyone smiling in unison when Olausson playfully points to an arty, scruffy looking, amorous couple at the front and bashfully says, “This next song is for the two people who have been kissing the whole time,” before launching into album highlight ‘Felt Tip’.
Live, as on record, Love Is All prove that it’s possible to celebrate and simultaneously deconstruct your influences, only to glue them back together in a way that, while comfortably familiar, is undeniably exhilarating to see and hear. Or, to put it simply, this quintet of Swedes prove that sometimes you can teach an old dog-like post-punk a few new tricks.