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Last Days Of April | If You Lose It | review | alternative | Lollipop

Last Days Of April

If You Lose It (Bad Taste)
by Tim Den

What can I say, I friggin' celebrate whenever Last Days Of April put out a new record. If you missed my drooling, raving mad reviews of their last two albums, let me sum them up: I absofuckinglutely LOVE this band. I don't care if their songs hang on accessible chord progressions, or that the fragility in guitarist/vocalist Karl Larsson's voice makes him as vulnerable as an open wound. I love every characteristic of this band because they are so honest, so comforting, so fulfilling… which makes for a much more rewarding listening experience than most music out there. "Originality" isn't even an issue when the end result is this gratifying.

And gratifying If You Lose It is, although that would be an understatement. More like a full meal after a 30-day fast. Or a large Gatorade after a race. It replenishes the soul, reinvigorates the body, and reawakens the romance in your heart. Whereas the last record, Ascend to the Stars, had a fairly uniform constitution, If You Lose It takes more risks and yields more fruits. Turning down the sap-o-meter and injecting an early-'90s aesthetic (think Sebadoh), songs such as opener "It's on Everything" prove that the band haven't lost their affect, despite having ventured away from more obvious hooks and melodies. If anything, If You Lose It benefits from this "left hand path," as the songs sound melodically fresher than Ascend to the Stars. "If You" and "Your Anyone" are particularly awe-inspiring, both wind around minimalistic, single-string refrains that would be too lightweight to carry any worth in lesser hands. But it's Last Days Of April we're talking about here, which means the "lightness" instead sounds tender yet confident, surprisingly packed with emotions despite its tiny frame.

The album is full of signs of maturity. From the underplayed sorrow to the wire-y riffing, If You Lose It sounds like the product of a band learning new tricks, but integrating old ones into the whole as well. The power of the feelings in the music – long a trademark of Last Days Of April – is always retained, presented in new-and-improved chord changes and vocal lines. An exquisite album that both re-establishes everything I love about 'em and shows the steps they're taking toward reinvention. Last Days Of April have never sounded better. And I've never loved them more.


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