Alcoholic Faith Mission – Let This Be The Last Night We Care album review

PonyRec

By Myles LaCavera

There are few bands that truly stymie you as a writer but Alcoholic Faith Mission has done it again.  2009’s 421 Wythe Ave was a daring European interpretation of Canadian indie that could be cruel and stark as it could be comforting.  This year’s quick follow-up and the band’s third release, Let This Be The Last Night We Care, builds on the momentum and continues to evolve AFM’s stylistics to fine maturity.  The band has settled on an unsettling sound that is entirely their own.  Atmospheric tones carried away by lightly plucked acoustic guitars, bass lines buried in the background, and surreal vocals from Kristine Permild and the boys dominate the disc.  A real lack of structural commitment completely foreign to pop and backward loops keep you constantly off balance. 

“My Eyes To See” may be one of the album’s lone forays into the accessible, reminding one a bit of “Nut In Your Eye” from 421 Wythe Ave.  No song is quite as daring or fearless as “Gently” this time around but “Got Love? Got Shellfish!” comes pretty damn close.  It is an album that frustrates at every turn, bucking pop convention.  Permild shines again on this disc especially on “Closer To Dallas” with its tumbling heartbeat of a rhythm section, and the freaky doubled up vocals on “Got Love? Got Shellfish!”  The disc isn’t haunting but almost frightening at times, like having the eerie feeling that something is out of place but you’re not sure what.

My fear is that most of my assessment will come across like I don’t like this album when quite the opposite is true: I love it.  The disc is a refreshing approach to indie, attacking from unsuspecting angles, sneaking up behind you, and is frustratingly indefinable.  The album, just as 421 Wythe Ave has the odd effect of sounding drastically different when run softly in the background or when listening intently with the headphones cranked.  I absolutely must see this band live to hear how this comes out and how close they can get to the album’s recorded sound.  This will not be the last night I listen to Let This Be The Last Night We Care.  I’ll go back to listen again and try and put my finger on it, find something else buried deep in “Snuck In To Ride It” or “Honeydrip”.

www.myspace.com/alcoholicfaithmission

Live

You wonder if they can live up to it live?

No - they transcend it. Utterly astonishing.

Matt, London