I Love You but I've Chosen Darkness

Fear Is on Our Side (Secretly Canadian)

SXSW Records

I Love You but I've Chosen Darkness

Fear Is on Our Side (Secretly Canadian)

There's no Morning in America for I Love You but I've Chosen Darkness. The debut LP from this Austin quintet is an icy, black-hued affair that conjures up the eerily apocalyptic patina of oppositional post-punk club culture circa 1984, when bands like New Order, Modern English, and the Sisters of Mercy were regarded as aberrant in the States. Between the natural cycle of revolving nostalgia and current events, this sound's recent resurgence comes as no surprise. Unlike the ILYBICD's more pop-oriented 2003 EP, Fear Is on Our Side revisits the Cold War's wane via its tendency toward gloomy aestheticism. "The Ghost" opens the album with tensile guitars interwoven atop surgical synth pads as Christian Goyer sings about burning buildings and the missing. Unbearable loss becomes even more pronounced on cinematic instrumental, "The Owl." This is a noble enough tack, but the glacial pacing of an eight-minute centerpiece like "Today/We Choose Faces" threatens to undermine its emotional wallop. The band gets better returns with "If It Was Me," the album's closer and its most rocking track. Steadily climbing toward climactic immolation, it finishes off Fear like a flash burn on pale white skin. (Saturday, March 18, 11:15pm @ Emo's Annex)

**.5

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