Language doesn’t really exist when it comes to music. Let me rephrase that. Music can exist beyond language, because music is it’s own language. It’s why you can be moved by sad song in another language. It’s why Italian opera has sustained its popularity for so long, even outside the Italian speaking world. What this all means is that I am going to talk about a record by two bands that make music in a language I don’t speak. Alright? We’re talking about Улыбайся Ветру (also known as Smile To The Wind) and Øjne.
Улыбайся Ветру opens the split. They go through four songs in about 5 minutes. Hailing from Saint Petersburg, the songs are in Russian. They play short, aggressive songs. The longest song, “Смерть Прометея” (“Death of the Prometheus”), clocks in at 2:11. They play a more chaotic type of screamo. They definitely pull more from the hardcore roots of the genre.
Øjne, on the other hand is from Milan. As such, you guessed it, their song is in Italian. They also play screamo, but in a more melodic variation. While they only provide one song to the split, it is about as long as the four songs by Улыбайся Ветру combined. “Sotto i Tigli” (“Under The Lime Trees”). While the last band was driving forward aggressively, Øjne gives the song room to breathe. It is still aggressive as fuck, but it a different way.
The overall production on this thing is fantastic. It is very cohesive. This despite it being recorded and mixed in three different places (two in Russia, one in Italy), only to be sent to the US to be mastered by Will Killingsworth. There were a lot of hands on this record, and everyone did a great job. Genre fans absolutely need to give this one a listen.
Улыбайся Ветру (Smile To The Wind)
It’s a Trap! Records [US]
Pike Records [DE]
Flood Records [BE]
Zegema Beach Record [CA]
Unlock Yourself Records [RU]
La Agonia De Vivir [ES]
Pure Heart Records [CZ]
**All translations came courtesy of the bands. Via their respective BandCamp pages.So, you know, check that out.
Alright. I Love Your Lifestyle. So, honestly, I’ve started writing this review about three different times. I Love Your Lifestyle is a talented band, but I’m having trouble writing about them. It’s easy to be reductive. This record was produced by Joe Reinhart of Algernon Cadwallader, and that is far from the only influence that band had on I Love Your Lifestyle. If the former band was taking cues from Cap’n Jazz, the latter is taking cues from them. Meaning there is a clear influence, and certain stylistic similarities, but it’s different enough to avoid being repetitive and redundant. I hope that doesn’t sound shitty. I Love Your Lifestyle is much better than some shitty comparison would lead you to believe.
Let’s try again. I Love Your Lifestyle play a very specific kind of music. People are going to classify this as emo music, and they are right in a few regards. But, from where I’m standing, this is a pop band playing pop songs. There are certainly genre tinges thoughout, especially instrumentally. While never getting too far away from a normal song structure, they do experiment in places. They are more controlled than the bands I mentioned earlier. There are still more chaotic (I guess) moments. It’s not super out there though. Everything is filtered through strong pop sensibilities. Like, one listen to “Spider Monkey” will have the line “Come on, you are not a wizard!” going through your head for days. Even putting an acoustic song, “Dynamite & Catfights,” right in the middle didn’t hurt the overall flow of things. That would be a momentum killer for almost anyone else.
There are no shortage of bands claiming the emo genre tag. A good majority are kind of hitting the same notes over and over again. It’s kind of the curse of a genre “revival.” It takes a lot to stand out from the pack. I Love Your Lifestyle make a great case for themselves. This a record that is filled to the brim with catchy sing-alongs and big hooks. I don’t think there is anything about this record that doesn’t work. Get into it.
I Love Your Lifestyle