Peace | In Love (Columbia)

Peace 75Peace is many things but original isn’t one of them. That is actually totally okay in this case. 

Peace 500

In Love, the debut from Worchester, England’s Peace, is many things but original isn’t one of them. That is actually totally okay in this case. The album received very favorable reviews in the English music press upon its release in March and has been nominated by NME for 2013 band of the year. Reading up on them, they seem to be one of those bands that you either love or love to hate (and secretly really like but are too much of a snob to admit it). Both sides make valid points to their arguments, mostly centering on the band’s total lack of originality. However, they are greatly loved for their live performances, and the fact that the album is actually very good.

Listening to this album, one gets an immense sense of déjà vu; that you’ve heard this all before. Peace has effectively snagged bits and pieces of England’s massive array of guitar-driven rock from the last 25 years; it would be impossible to miss things. One minute they are like Oasis, then The Charlatans, Electric Soft Parade, British Sea Power, The Music, Kula Shaker, The Foals, and every other Britpop act of the mid 1990s. But that is okay! Not everyone is going to be able to break new ground in music with every album. It’s perfectly acceptable to play to your sources of influence…as long as you do not sound like crappy versions of them. That’s where Peace excels; they are a very gifted band and are able to take everything they’ve heard and mold it into a tight, cohesive sound and somehow make it their own. The album does not lose the listener as the songs are catchy and well-balanced. Plus, you can listen and easily pick out who is influencing them on the tracks.

Overall, this is an excellent and catchy as hell debut. Now, if they continue to sound like retreads from the past, attitudes might turn negative towards them. They are a talented band and should be able to do more than just rehash everything from the last 25 years. But for now, just enjoy the album. It’s great and makes for a very enjoyable listen. B+ | Mike Koehler

RIYL – Britpop, British Indie since 2000

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