Love Is All, A Hundred Things Keep Me Up At Night
Skronky, poppy Swedes stay the course... thankfully
Love Is All's Nine Times That Same Song appeared out of nowhere at the beginning of 2006, frothing with a rabid, sugar-rush energy. The group was irresistible, playing a simultaneously epic and childlike brand of post-punk that was uniquely their own: celebratory and infectious where others had been dour and perverse. At the center of that joyous noise was sing-yelper Josephine Olausson, chirping, talking and screaming all over Nine Times 'big, bouncy echo-blasted tracks. Post-punk had never sounded so fun; indie-pop had never felt so powerful.
Two-plus years have passed since Nine Times, and as the new album begins you get the sense that the band has been locked in a cage for that time, clawing with pent-up energy. The first three songs are raucous blasts, brimming with crashing, desperate energy, breakneck tempos and booming, enveloping reverb. Although the crazed start is a thrill of its own, Hundred Things really picks up with the (relatively) clean "Last Choice," a ringing tune with punchy swells.
From there, LIA tend to let the songs stand on their own, angling the focus from massive-sounding to massively hooky. The propulsive pop of "Sea Sick" could inspire (at least) three different singalongs as it shifts and dips between swinging and stomping. "Wishing Well," which might as well be the Clean's "Tally Ho" part two, is giddy, fizzy perfection — if there's one moment on Hundred Things that will stick with you for weeks, it's this keyboard riff.
In making this record, Love is All all but ignored that oft-repeated post-punk credo to "rip it up and start again," instead relying more on their already-winning formula. The result: another set of full-grin-inducing, messily un-perfect pop songs.