Album review: Peace, In Love (Columbia)

4.00

ALBUM OF THE WEEK: Peace, love and a fine riposte to easy understanding

With any luck, 2013 will be the year that Peace breaks out all over. The Birmingham quartet's debut album bears out the promise of their early singles and Delicious EP, from which derives the album closer, “California Daze”, though sadly they've chosen not to include the EP's cover of the trance classic “1998”. Perhaps they were wary of confusing listeners too much, In Love being virtually impossible to pigeonhole as it is.

Peace's core values are indie guitar rock, but with myriad disparate influences. The grumbling chords of “Follow Baby” suggest a sort of British Nirvana, the concluding snarl of guitar noise furnishing a punky exclamation mark; but it's set alongside the euphoric rocker “Higher Than the Sun”, where guitars weave woozily in cyclical, Byrds-style arpeggios, as the verses resolve into a surging hook.

Elsewhere, the languid groove of “Waste of Paint” recalls the baggy heyday of Happy Mondays and Stone Roses. On “Lovesick”, the yoking of weary outsider cool with pop melodicism brings to mind The Cure's lighter moments: you can imagine a younger Robert Smith singing lines such as, “I just want to be a fool, get lovesick with you,” so adeptly does Harrison Koisser channel that 1980s strain of blithe adolescent alienation.

Koisser's an intriguing songwriter, bringing an innovative eye to the age- old business of love through quirky images like “her hair it bleeds and bleeds for you” and “she's such a wraith, a lady of the sword” – the latter illuminating “Wraith”, a slick confection of propulsive guitar and keening harmonies. But meaning isn't just confined to the words of “Toxic”. “You're like a poison, you linger in my lungs,” sings Koisser, but the sense of dizzy discomfiture is as powerfully conveyed by the way the guitars seem to sway and totter. Likewise, the lightness of spirit in “Float Forever” is evoked by the watery vibrato guitar that buoys the song along. Both are evidence of a keen musical imagination at work, reinvigorating tired indie modes with fresh ideas, images and sounds.

Download: Higher Than the Sun; Lovesick; Wraith; Float Forever; Toxic

Arts and Entertainment

Great British Bake Off
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    The long walk west: they fled war in Syria, only to get held up in Hungary – now hundreds of refugees have set off on foot for Austria

    They fled war in Syria...

    ...only to get stuck and sidetracked in Hungary
    From The Prisoner to Mad Men, elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series

    Title sequences: From The Prisoner to Mad Men

    Elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series. But why does the art form have such a chequered history?
    Giorgio Armani Beauty's fabric-inspired foundations: Get back to basics this autumn

    Giorgio Armani Beauty's foundations

    Sumptuous fabrics meet luscious cosmetics for this elegant look
    From stowaways to Operation Stack: Life in a transcontinental lorry cab

    Life from the inside of a trucker's cab

    From stowaways to Operation Stack, it's a challenging time to be a trucker heading to and from the Continent
    Kelis interview: The songwriter and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell and crying over potatoes

    Kelis interview

    The singer and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell
    Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

    Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

    But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
    Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

    Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

    Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
    Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

    Britain's 24-hour culture

    With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
    Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

    The addictive nature of Diplomacy

    Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
    Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

    Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

    Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
    8 best children's clocks

    Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

    Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
    Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

    Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

    After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
    Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

    How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

    Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
    Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

    'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

    In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea