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Reviews

Peace
In Love Emily Mackay , March 27th, 2013 09:57

Ah, another week, another few hundred words of staunchly defending the right of young men to play guitars and be happy against the massed ranks of miseryphiles, eh? But not quite business as usual, because there’s really no need to stick up for Peace. As their album title suggests, they’re possessed right now of the total imperviousness of love’s young dream, band meets moment in a perfect kiss.

Throw all the derision you like at them; call them by the name of well-known clothing chains, scoff at their similarity to better bands or bands you didn’t even like first time round. Scorn at the goonish quotes from their tongue-in-cheek interviews. But you can’t hurt them.

This debut is possessed, for good or ill, of the sort of radio-licking, high-glycemic-index polish (courtesy of Arctic Monkeys and Adele knobsman Jim Abbiss) that will instantly raise the hackles of those who still care about appearing to be underground or whatever. It glistens. But crucially, that light is dancing with fleeting magic off the bones of some bewitching tunes. I feel like I should know better, but oh... those choruses!

You might guess that a band who open their debut album with a track called ‘Higher Than The Sun’ might draw something from the sound of the early 90s, and you would be rewarded for this clever surmise with a very Stone Roses jangle-and-stomp, arrayed with wafts of shoegaze swoon. The Roses remain an obvious touchstone throughout, but a smoothed-out, Britpopped up drawn-from-memory echo of Roses that stays deftly just clear of the Soup Dragons and Shed Seven. ‘Waste Of Paint’’s dark, moody groove is a soft echo of ‘Love Spreads’, while the puppyish ‘Lovesick’ is their ‘Friday I’m In Love’, an impossibly winning pop Cure smacker. ‘Follow Baby’ is just as vibrant, singer Harry Koisser assuring “We’re gonna live forever, baby” over cooed, chorused backing vocals and bright, Squirey guitar. The crowning glory, though, is the delicious ‘Wraith’, with its liquid grace and shiveringly thrilling chorus of “You could be my ice age, sugar/You lay me down and make me shiver”.

When momentum dips, though, interest tends to a little, and ‘Float Forever’ and the dopey retro-schmaltz of ‘California Daze’ take the edge off the infatuation. It probably can’t last; a spring fling, no more, and when this perfect window, their magic moment passes, there’s not a great deal of substance here; it’s just that what there is is arranged so adorably. For now, though, you can’t touch Peace, armoured as they are with a few good tunes, youth, fans and happiness. It doesn’t really matter whether you give them a chance or not.

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