Life on Repeat - Struggle + Sleep
Record Label: Equal Vision
Released: June 14,2011
Life on Repeat is relatively new to the scene although they released their first EP, As I Grew, in 2009. They are signed to the prestigious Equal Vision Records, home to bands like Pierce the Veil and We Came As Romans. Life on Repeat sounds nothing like other bands on the label, combining post-hardcore with a good bit of modern pop and rock. Though most of the tracks have the same structure, it's a superb album. The band has not failed to impress me. They’re strong in both vocals and music. They also put on a great live show (I saw them recently along with There for Tomorrow, Conditions and the ALWAYS amazing Oceana).
Struggle + Sleep is going down as one of the top albums of the year in my book. Its "yeah, we're catchy, so what?" attitude makes it so great. Even though it is pop, it certainly doesn't lack technicality in the instrument department; this band knows what they are doing, kids.
The single, also named "Struggle + Sleep," is a heavy yet subtle opener consisting of great riffs and drum fills. It's a basic song in today’s music scene. It has got a strong chorus, a "bro chant," a breakdown and a quick bridge before the end of the song. Other tracks like this are "The Need, Not the Cause" and "Southern Girls."
Struggle + Sleep has a bit of variety. There’s the token acoustic ballad "Without You Here," which has a nice blues riff in the opening. It's a beautiful track and reminds me of A Day To Remember's "You Had Me At Hello."
The song that really caught my attention, though, is "Feet Under." It’s coincidentally placed as the sixth track - WELL PLAYED, GENTLEMEN. The track starts off as a ‘70s-style acid rock jam with a good use of keys and funky guitar riff. It then transforms into a strong pop rock anthem with great lyrics and even better blend of guitars.
The last track, "Wide Awake," is a surprising closer; it may be the heaviest song the album. It’s the only time you hear unclean vocals, keeping you on your feet.
Overall, this is an exceptional band and album, no matter how picky you are about music. It's simple and sweet, not to mention catchy as hell. I can see Life on Repeat becoming a huge band in the future, much like many of their label mates. To be honest, I am surprised that they aren't already popular. Catch them on tour this fall with Greeley Estates, The Plot in You and Miracle at St. Anna.
I can't get enough of this album. The musicianship is killer and the vocals are some of the best in the scene. Plus, it's refreshing for a post-hardcore vocalist to not try and jack Johny Craig's voice.