Love Is All, Two Thousand and Ten Injuries
Love Is All loosen up, keep their neurotic edge
Love Is All are at their most charming when they transform nerve-wracking anxiety into perky post-punk rave-ups. They've calmed down a bit on their third full-length, Two Thousand And Ten Injuries, but their songs still burst with manic, joyful noise. The album, written and recorded while the Swedish quintet had no label, is their most playful to date. Left to their own devices, the group have expanded their artistic range, yielding both sunny Turtles-esque psychedelia (on "Kungen") and Slits-like punk-reggae (on "False Pretense").
As always, the band's songs showcase the unique voice of Josephine Olausson, whose trebly yelp conveys as much self-deprecating humor as jittery angst. She can sound vulnerable and delicate, but most often she comes across like a tiny person standing up with determination against something rather enormous — even if it's just the anxieties percolating in her head. The band's lyrics and music are small in scale, giving voice to brief moments of panic without losing perspective or blowing them too far out of proportion. Even when the tracks get especially uptight and antsy, as on "Less Than Thrilled" and the bold single "Repetition", the band never get bleak or overbearing. Instead, the combination of Olausson's oddball wit and the band's bright guitar tones and springy beats maintain a tone of world-weary levity throughout the record.
Whereas many of the band's older songs leaned hard on the rhythm section for hooks, they've become more confident with melody, resulting in particularly hummable tunes in the rowdy opener "Bigger Bolder" and the lilting album highlight "Never Now." They also sound more assured on relatively relaxed cuts like "A Side In A Bed" and "Take Your Time", allowing for moments of prettiness without losing too much momentum. Love Is All have evolved into a more well-rounded band without sacrificing a trace of their distinct identity — they've loosened up, but thankfully, they're still tightly wound.