Love as Laughter CD reviewed by Michael Coleman

Music Reviews
Love as Laughter CD reviewed by Michael Coleman
Apr 22, 2009, 19:31

Love As Laughter - Holy


Love as Laughter's been around for 15 years and even though most people have never heard of them, they're still cranking out great, gutsy music under the radar.

Hailing from the Pacific Northwest, front man Sam Jayne and his band this time serve up jangly acoustic guitars and laid-back pop hooks—think early and mid-period Wilco or Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. But they do it with a disheveled vibe that avoids cloying at all costs.

On the opening title track, Jayne—known for previous records that served up dense textures and angry lyrics—shows us he isn't afraid of melody. The low-key, pleasant demeanor of the first two tunes sound as if the band has yanked open the blinds and windows to air out the dank darkness of previous incarnations. But it's not all shits and giggles. Love and Laughter veers into darker territory on “Paul Revere,” a dissonant, churning piece of rock punctuated by Jayne's distinctive vocal.

Weird little echoes and warm intonations—perhaps the result of recording in a cramped basement—permeate the record, making it feel extremely close at hand. This is the work of an accomplished, eclectic band that deserves a much broader audience than the one that's currently tuning in. [Epic]

-Michael Coleman


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