Release Date: Mar 25, 2013
Record label: Columbia
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Rock, Jangle Pop
The narrow-minded reckon their experience of history can’t be surpassed; that there’s no point in drawing inspiration from the past because it was better IN THEIR DAY. They murder people’s vibes because they’re buzzkillers. They criticise young people for being unoriginal and lazy because 58 years after Bill Haley And His Comets’ ‘Rock Around The Clock’ charted, idealistic, rebellious teens haven’t evolved beyond simple pleasures like first crushes, guitar strums, pop hooks and leopard print.
It should be clear to any music listener of a certain age what to expect when an album’s opening track is titled “Higher Than the Sun”. The Primal Scream track of the same name was a major influence on the British indie dance/rock scene of the early ‘90s that paved the way for Britpop to dominate the UK music headlines and charts for a few heady years in the mid-‘90s. And while In Love certainly plants its guitars in that era, it is actually a couple years earlier that the main influences of this album belong, that of the Baggy scene bestrode by the Happy Mondays and the Stones Roses.
Peace are one of several bands from Birmingham – along with the promising Swim Deep and Jaws – that look set to have a big year in 2013. The quartet have been receiving a great deal of critical attention since they burst onto the scene last year with their first single, the thrilling Follow Baby. Peace backed up that release with their debut EP Delicious, which further suggested that they would be ones to look out for when their first album dropped.
There’s nothing wrong with a bit of Nineties revivalism, but there’s a point during ‘Waste Of Paint’, the seventh track on Peace’s debut album, where it starts to get ridiculous. A loping, baggy beat and chuga-chuga chime-y guitars are joined, clear as day, by the riff from Blur’s ‘There’s No Other Way’, marking the moment when In Love pushes past nostalgia and becomes self parody. If you were being kind you’d say it was homage.
Anyone encountering Peace's debut album after reading the blog buzz that led the Birmingham quartet to a major-label deal and their current hotly tipped status might be forgiven for feeling a little nonplussed. As is the way when trying to explain a new band to readers who haven't heard them, much of the blog buzz about Peace centred on who they sounded like. The names invoked were resolutely modern: the African-influenced alt-rock of Vampire Weekend was frequently mentioned, as were Foals, Wu Lyf and even the indie-goes-prog sub-genre of math rock, home of complex, constantly shifting time signatures, dissonant chords and angular stop-start guitar riffs.
Every generation has its share of Very Important Albums. Be it a ‘Definitely Maybe’, an ‘Up The Bracket’, or something else entirely, there’s a record in each person’s collection that soundtracked that vital moment when music changed from something they occasionally enjoyed to a matter of life and death. With their debut full length, Peace have made a Very Important Album.The evidence is there for all to see.
Peace take the past and swish it about with a bit swagger, and the results are just dandy. Matthew Horton 2013 Whether or not you fall in love with Peace depends how much stock you put in originality. The Birmingham four-piece are clearly the sum of their influences, but their debut album brims with such gusto and powerful tunes that it'd take a heart of stone not to weaken in the face of its chutzpah.
Last September the music world went crazy for a half watermelon with a crude peace sign hacked into its flesh. More accurately, swathes of people were fawning over Peace. “Britpop revival!” shrieked endless voices, with plenty of comparisons to Wu Lyf, Foals and the like being bandied around too, like limited edition vinyl records. Detractors also swept in for the kill, bearing their usual cloud of pessimism and casting an ominous grey monsoon.
Ah, another week, another few hundred words of staunchly defending the right of young men to play guitars and be happy against the massed ranks of miseryphiles, eh? But not quite business as usual, because there’s really no need to stick up for Peace. As their album title suggests, they’re possessed right now of the total imperviousness of love’s young dream, band meets moment in a perfect kiss. Throw all the derision you like at them; call them by the name of well-known clothing chains, scoff at their similarity to better bands or bands you didn’t even like first time round.