With a collection that seems, from the outset, to focus solely on the doom and gloom that has rocked much of the world, notably the UK, in recent years, the new album from Ellory Roberts and Ebony Hoorn, AKA, Lost Under Heaven, Love Hates What You Become, stands out from many of its current counterpart releases, but not in a good way.
Opening numbers ‘Come’ and ‘Bunny’s Blues’ don’t get things off to the strongest start, although things do improve somewhat with the arrival of ‘The Breath Of Light’. It’s emotive and heartfelt, tugging at a listener’s heartstrings, and driven by Roberts’ powerful vocal performance. When Hoorn adds her own vocal as the track draws to a close, the harmony they create with one another is something pretty special.
Fans of classic bands like The Cure may find themselves lured to ‘Most High’, with its electric guitars and synths while the albums’ title track is a touching duet – and it’s from here that things start, for the most part, to struggle. ‘Post Millennial Tension’, with lyrics such as “Tell me everything’s going to be all right, the first crash should have been a warning“, is performed with a rusty, strained growl of a vocal comes across as over-done, not at all helped by the string section which may cause listeners to skip to the final track, which is, perhaps rather fittingly, the best track on the album. ‘For The Wild’ strips away the sentiment – or sense of self-parody depending on how you look at it -to present a brilliant rock ‘n’ roll piece that should hopefully encourage the duo to keep going in the upbeat direction while offering them a second chance at winning over some new fans.
In comparison to the duo’s first album, Love Hates proves that old industry saying that it’s often hard to follow up a strong debut release with another of similar quality, and it’s certainly true here. The collection as a whole has a very somber, almost depressive quality to it and, with times as difficult as they are now (thank you Brexit), it’s certainly not the album to listen to if you need a audible pick-me-up.
Love Hates What You Become is out now on Mute.