Letting Up Despite Great Faults: Untogether
It’s rare an album can both sedate a listener and inflict frantic excitement. Somehow Letting Up Despite Great Fault‘s sophomore full length album, Untogether, does just that. As frontman Mike Lee lulls you to sleep with his gentle, droning voice, the band’s fuzz filled synths and twangy guitars do everything they can to force you out of your seat. Before you pass this album up, it’s true, a lot of neo-surf rock or indie pop bands are blending together in an uninspired mess by overstaying their welcome. Letting Up is different. Letting Up defies the trending genre’s typical boundaries and paves a new path. They’ve given a refreshing twist which may be what it takes to keep themselves and similar bands in the spotlight.
Starting strong, the album opens with “Visions,” a beachy ode that inspires the melancholic feel that comes with the end of summer. The entire time you will find yourself jamming right along with the band. However, by the fourth track, “Postcard,” Letting Up almost takes a turn towards something more cosmic. The synth takes a stronger position, the music becomes more digital. An actual nice change of pace that reflects the band’s relaxing feel. Furthermore, Untogether brings an entire spectrum of adjectives to mind. “Bulletproof Girl” is groovy, danceable, electric, fun, and even docile in nature. “The Best Part” is sincere, dreamy, and holds true to it’s namesake. Lyrically, throughout the album Mike Lee delivers a blast of emotion, in the most mellow manner possible. Contradictory? Then consider “Details of My World.” With a long, sighing voice, “You’re miles away from who I knew/I can’t reach you even when you’re in the room,” escapes Mike Lee’s mouth; displaying not only the band’s infinite well of emotion, but also their ability to display it as honestly as possible.
All that said, this album isn’t perfect. At times, sifting through the musical muck becomes tiresome and stressful. “Scratch” and “Breaking” being prime examples, you can’t help but feel there’s a lack of any prevalent instruments, nothing seems to blend naturally, and the melodies become a bit repetitive. With Untogether’s concluding track, “On Your Mark,” the band takes a new approach. No longer do you have to work out what it is you are listening to, but rather now you’re trying to figure out what they didn’t take away. The acoustic guitars are perhaps too simple in comparison the rest of the album, the once powerful synth becomes nothing more than ambient noise. Maybe the issue isn’t that it’s a bad song (and it’s not by any means), but rather that it’s performed right after an incredibly enthusiastic, incredibly noisy, and incredibly dramatic “Numbered Days.”
Something is still missing from the formula. A dash of moderation? Maybe some more flow? Perhaps it’s just too hazy sometimes. Untogether is close, but seriously hasn’t earned that cigar. Regardless, Letting Up is giving their fans a little bit of everything with this album and are without a doubt giving them something to look forward to in the future. On a closing note, Untogether may not be a masterpiece but without a doubt anyone and everyone should be able to find at least one song to fall in love with on this album.
MP3: Letting Up Despite Great Faults “The Best Part”
Buy: iTunes or Insound! vinyl