A quarter sliding through a slot, strawberry milkshakes and a coin op arcade, several lives away. Those were the images I conjured after finishing the first spin of Letting Up Despite Great Faults‘ superb Untogether. Method of delivery: A clear red vinyl, capturing perfectly the reverb heavy synths that intertwine with the shoegaze-drenched guitars.
Ah, Letting Up Despite Great Faults, it’s been a while since I gushed about you, let’s catch up. The term “dreamy” is probably overused by now, but it fits like a knitted glove so perfectly that it would be rude not to bandy it again.
‘Vision’ is the peppy introduction to the world of Untogether. Fast, atmospheric and poppy enough to be catchy, it leaves you well interested in the sounds that will slowly walk through this fashionable, sunny show. ‘Scratch’ has a heavy sense of nostalgia, where feelings mix and clash, leaving an uneasy sense of regret perfectly encompassed by the lyric “I’ll fade into a story just for her.”
‘Take my jacket, Pauline’ is a thing of beauty, as the swelling synths emanate a warm ambient that feels like an embrace you’ll remember forever. It’s both shoegaze and dance, even if it’s more about swaying slowly to the ethereal sounds that are being created by these alchemists.
And then it comes. The big hit. The one song you need to remember from this collection. This shouldn’t imply that the other 9 songs aren’t wonderful, but this track, ‘Postcard’, is utterly beautiful. “In my head I know your side but I’m lost in dead divide“, half whispers Mike Lee, in this song that seems the describe the end (and previous journey) of a relationship. The sweet and the sour, it’s all here, served up to your heart’s desire.
Again, this shouldn’t imply that Untogether peaks at track 4. No, there’s very rewarding stuff here for you. You need some gorgeous electronica? Lend your ears to ‘Bulletproof Girl’ haunting synth line. Miss the gloomier pop sounds of the 80s tape-trading era? ‘Details of my world’ has your back, make up and mascara too. The gorgeous shoegaze genre predominates this band’s notes and ‘Breaking’ will remind you Letting Up Despite Great Faults can create a gorgeous piece of “the genre that celebrates itself.”
The arpeggiator in ‘Numbered days’ is a perfect contrast to the rocking guitar busted out for panache, a mixing that is more Reese’s Pieces* than chalk and cheese. All good things must end (how else are you supposed to justify pressing “repeat”?) and the chilled down ‘On your mark’ slowly walks with you towards the exit. The ending is not bittersweet, even if the ride has been.
As heavily processed and layered are the notes and vocals that Letting Up Despite Great Faults weave out of thin air for Untogether, it sounds so organic and natural that it should fill your dietary needs for the day. Consume it completely, loud and with the lights out.
Words: Sam J. Valdés López
*This reviewer assumes you love Reese’s Pieces. If not, pb & j sarnies, chips with gravy, chicken wings with blue cheese relish or a delicious cucumber and tomato salad are good alternative analogies.