We Live in Black is an alternative rock band started by a group of high school friends in late 2017. With each member coming from a different musical background and little experience from playing in other bands, they worked purposefully hard to write their own material during the band’s first year of existence. This resulted their very distinct sound, which blends punk, pop, emo, grunge and even strains of metal. We Live in Black dropped their debut single ‘Hallucinations’ in May 2019, and a month later have followed up with their self-titled debut EP. Their thirst still not quenched, the trio are already booked at the Gothenburg based, Studio Fredman in August 2019, to record new material.
The opening track on the EP, “Underground”, quickly establishes the breadth and depth of the band’s ambitions. The track is a house built brick by brick with patient songwriting and a lush arrangement that blossoms over its length, cultivating a fully fleshed out alternative rock song. Awash with sweeping melody, banging drums, crunching guitars, and a soaring vocal that easily transitions from a scream to a growl, it’s clear that We Live in Black cannot be put into any one musical box.
One of the EP’s promoting singles, “I Am God” confirms the aforementioned premise, opening with a mellow piano and trembling strings, it switches into a barrage of chugging guitar motifs that drive the intense energy. The choruses are anthemic, and the verses angsty, but all the way through We Live in Black never lose their melodic edge, which is an absolute signature trait of their sound. On “I Fell” they again fully juxtapose and explore the contrasts of aggression and the melody.
The lead vocals has a penchant for powerful and dramatic dynamicity, often switching nuance and tone, making it one of the band’s focal points. The EP’s charm largely comes from its high energy and vigorous tonal changes, which represents the labor of determined musicians.
Each track runs through a gambit of emotions, and crescendos that are fitting ends to sometimes moody buildups. The production is stellar, offering up crisp, but bone-crushing guitar motifs, beefy and perfectly mixed drums, upfront vocals, and an overall clarity of sound that would be detrimental if the musicianship wasn’t so tight.
All elements which are perfectly encapsulated in the EP’s centerpiece, and lead single, “Hallucinations”. This sprawling track anchors the EP. It shows off the sound of a band that does not depend on a formulaic approach to making their music, one that does not confine themselves to the limitations of the genres they originated from.
We Live in Black is a band that defies strict categorization and hence, any predetermined expectations, and this EP continues to confuse and dazzle their audience, track after track. “Staring At The Walls”, again finds the band switching its sonic template – plenty of jangly clean guitars, and desperate, angst-filled vocals that move from mellow rationality, ascending into euphoric hysteria.
It fuses together graceful elegance and unrestrained mayhem more seamlessly than ever. At the end of the day, this self-titled EP by We Live in Black is an incredibly kinetic recording, and unlike anything else of its kind currently around.
Across the recording, We Live in Black illustrate the emotional mannerisms about them where they can sound so bracing, so cleansing and yet so aggressive at the same time, binding the opposing extremities with complete cohesion. With this kind of talent and diversity on display, the EP is an immersive, wildly innovative journey which will hopefully propel them to the lofty success they deserve to earn. Only time will tell…and its something they have plenty of!