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Life Long Tragedy - Runaways (Cover Artwork)

Life Long Tragedy

Life Long Tragedy: RunawaysRunaways (2008)
Deathwish Inc.

Reviewer Rating: 4.5
User Rating:


Contributed by: OverDefinedOverDefined
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Life Long Tragedy's 2004 debut LP, Destined for Anything, was very much a product of its time. Double-bass drum reliance, weird metalcore moments, a smattering of cliché "posi" lyrics and an overuse of gang vocals marred what was otherwise an enjoyable, if not unoriginal, hardcore release. In 2006,.
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Life Long Tragedy's 2004 debut LP, Destined for Anything, was very much a product of its time. Double-bass drum reliance, weird metalcore moments, a smattering of cliché "posi" lyrics and an overuse of gang vocals marred what was otherwise an enjoyable, if not unoriginal, hardcore release. In 2006, after signing to Deathwish, Inc., LLT released a split with Final Fight, which saw both bands heading in a Modern Life Is War-esque direction, with slower, grinding songs and a more personal and profound lyric style.

However, with Runaways, LLT sets aside any previous adherence to trends and lays out a highly original and emotionally affecting record. They ignore convention and display a willingness to take risks, most immediately noticeable with a raw and guitar-heavy production style. There is no reliance on gimmicks or studio tricks -- just a pure outbreak of energy and angst, sonically reminiscent of Converge's You Fail Me, stripped of its technique and mathy tendencies.

One standout track, "Hey Death," showcases all aspects of the band's newfound maturity. They can blast out a fast part, be catchy, and then fuck it all up with a slow and seething plea with death over a haunting bass and drum counterpoint before building to a final cathartic explosion of intensity. Many bands lose focus on the art of subtlety when attempting to be this profound, but LLT employ it liberally. Each instrument stands alone, unafraid to play with or against the others or even to drop out entirely. This is a rare trait in hardcore and lends a powerful and organic feel to the record.

On side two, LLT revisits "Sweet Innocence" from their split with Final Fight. While I am normally not a fan of bands re-recording songs, they manage to pull off a new take that fits well in the sequencing. The original recording is slow, but here they slow it down even more, wringing every last ounce of desperation out of an already desperate song. No longer does it sound like a tribute to Modern Life Is War, but showcases a band chasing its own dark muse.

Runaways is the sound of the moments in life when you look around and decide everything is fucked. In this record's world, darkness prevails and the plasticity of our culture is ever apparent. The raw sound and exasperated intensity of this record will alienate less educated and adventurous listeners but will reward active and repeated listens.

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
HowlinDog (August 9, 2008)

I have to agree with the reviewer
Great album overall with my fav track definitely being "Hey Death"
Good shit

joeyedge (May 6, 2008)

well for people who fucking loved destined for anything (me) this album was a big disapointment. this album sounds like MLIW and suicide file formed a band together, somewhat enjoyable but doesnt really do it for me.

boba_fett (February 27, 2008)

reminds me of modern life is war.

bizzlebrizzle (February 27, 2008)

Also the recording quality and production on this is fucking perfect, I love how dirty it is.

bizzlebrizzle (February 27, 2008)

This is great, reminds me kind of later Unbroken. Really heavy but still really loose and punk rock. I also like a lot of the weird guitar effects it has going on.

sugarfull (February 27, 2008)

I'm not really hearing any "You Fail Me" on this one.

sumwon (February 27, 2008)

I'm not really big on posting multiple reviews unless (a) I'm desperate or (b) the two opinions are noticeably polar and the second review is extremely well-written.

Not sure how others feel, but I would much rather see 2-3 decently written reviews of the really big releases than a plethora of moderate to well-written reviews of releases I've never heard of. I'm all for giving the little bands a time to shine, but I think pushing their reviews back a week or two isn't a big deal.
However, I'll be the first to admit that I am probably not as deep into punk as the averager org reader, so maybe that explains my outlook. Thoughts?

Score is for seeing 10 new record reviews for bands I've never heard of (which isn't the case this week, but you know...).

KiwiFruit (February 26, 2008)

Runaways is such an amazing records totally deserves the score it got.

It's refreshing to see that not all hardcore bands are willing to follow a formula some are willing to expriement and it really pays of for LLT.

Deathwish can do no wrong.

inagreendase (February 26, 2008)

I disagree Final Fight took a MLIW-esque direction on their side of the split. I think they went more towards Comeback Kid territory.

This album seems pretty good. It just seems like a big stylistic overhaul after the split material, but it might be the recording throwing me off. Either way, I would've preferred split-style stuff, as they really seemed to synthesize anthemic moments with bleak, downtrodden moods there well, whereas they really just focus on the latter with Runaways.

But like you say, maybe some more listens will reap better results for me. And at least they threw out the overly metal moments that seemed sort of out of place on Destined.

almost every negative review i have submitted, usually gets put on the back burner. maybe i just can't write negative reviews well? the last one i submitted was for Chris Walla's album which sucked, and i gave two stars. The review that got posted i think had three stars? maybe two and half.

Well, you submitted it after we already had a review up. I'm not really big on posting multiple reviews unless (a) I'm desperate or (b) the two opinions are noticeably polar and the second review is extremely well-written.

Trust me, I'd love to post more negative reviews to balance the section's coverage more. But not of things we're already covering.

6000dollarsuit (February 26, 2008)

Def not a great album, an overall pretty boring band.

MLIW is ok. Still don't understand why everyone creams their shorts over them.

nocigar (February 26, 2008)

9/10? hell no.

this is nowhere near that score

thus_spoke_sean (February 26, 2008)

is every review from now on going to get a 7/10 or better? is there no such thing as just an average album, or *GASP* even worse?

i think this is a symptom of having too many writers for one site. you tend to gravitate towards writing about what you really enjoy. therefore everything gets a high grade. no uniformity. am i wrong?


almost every negative review i have submitted, usually gets put on the back burner. maybe i just can't write negative reviews well? the last one i submitted was for Chris Walla's album which sucked, and i gave two stars. The review that got posted i think had three stars? maybe two and half.

danperrone (February 26, 2008)

not a great album. pretty average.

is every review from now on going to get a 7/10 or better? is there no such thing as just an average album, or *GASP* even worse?

i think this is a symptom of having too many writers for one site. you tend to gravitate towards writing about what you really enjoy. therefore everything gets a high grade. no uniformity. am i wrong?

Amazingthemike (February 26, 2008)

Great album; one of the best of the year no doubt.

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