Album Review: Peace – In Love

by Sam Skilton
The cover art for Peace's debut album 'In Love'

The cover art for Peace’s debut album ‘In Love’

There’s an awful lot of over-hyped and tiresome indie-pop drivel floating around at the moment. For a while, I admit, I had Peace down as just another one of ‘those bands’. How wrong I was.
It’s an easy trap to fall into. Why should a group with the most hipster of hipster names, who sing about being ‘Lovesick’ and not wanting to go to school, be any different from a group whose lyrical ambition culminates with a line about wanting to be the best of friends? Yes, Palma Violets, Django Django, alt-J, you all fall some way short of this debut album.
‘In Love’ surprised me, in that it is a delectable feast which takes its inspiration from a diverse collection of genres. There are so many influences on this album in fact, that it risks potentially being as confused as a penguin in the Sahara. Yet somehow it works.
The ten-track record delves from modern-day indie back to the sounds of the late-1980s psychedelic-revival. But perhaps most potently there is a rather brazen punch of Britpop in between.
Indeed, this is an album which experiments with each and every corner of the famous scene of the Nineties. ‘Follow Baby’ could be Blur at their forceful best, and the song borrows the line “You gonna live forever” from Noel Gallagher’s famous lyric book, while you can picture Liam shaking his tambourine along to the outro of ‘Float Forever’. Somehow they get away without paying royalties to Blur for blatantly borrowing from ‘There’s No Other Way’ on the chorus of ‘Waste of Paint’. And let’s throw in Pulp and The Charlatans to complete the set.
There’s also a hint of the colourful ‘Hawaiindie’ which has become popular through the likes of Friendly Fires in recent years. But while Peace have been compared to everybody from Vampire Weekend to The Cure, and Foals to Happy Mondays, it is the architect of Arctic Monkeys’ Noughties-classic ‘Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not’, Jim Abbiss, who has framed the record. So really it should be no surprise that the guitar riffage on ‘Higher Than the Sun’ almost instantaneously hints to a trace of the Arctics.
Peace have been gaining popularity lately having featured in the recent NME Tour, and are odds on to make the top ten at least this coming weekend after ‘In Love’ was released on Monday (25th March).
The only issue which makes it difficult to fall totally in love with this record (or possibly makes it easier depending on which way you look at it) is the fact that it isn’t entirely ground-breaking or authentic. But lyrically and musically all ten tracks on the album are as catchy and melodic as any current indie record, and Jarman look-alike Harry Koisser’s vocals are spot on.
Surely then, given that you can stream the album for free via NME’s website, it’s finally worth giving Peace a chance?
1. Higher Than The Sun
2. Follow Baby
3. Lovesick
4. Float Forever
5. Wraith
6. Delicious
7. Waste of Paint
8. Toxic
9. Sugarstone
10. California Daze
Released: 25 March 2012
Label: Columbia
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