Review by Dom Vigil
Listening to Night Riots’ new full length, Love Gloom in one sitting is a somewhat daunting task - it is fifteen very diverse songs in length - but by the time you reach the stunning final track, “As You Are,” you’ll be glad that you did. Split up into three very distinctly different parts, Love Gloom has a little bit of everything, from the eerie and dark beginning to the synthy and psychedelic middle all the way to the bright and poppy ending. Night Riots showcase the full range of their abilities on this release while further establishing their timeless, groovy sound, and not one song sounds out of place.
The album’s introduction builds quite a bit of anticipation and gloom before diving into the first track, “Nothing Personal,” which is also one of the strongest songs on the album. The guitar that kicks off “Nothing Personal” is stunning and very unique, and as the song progresses, it blooms into this bright, beautiful track with a darker undertone, keeping the energy and moodiness that the intro establishes. Not only that, but “Nothing Personal” is also catchy as hell - these poppy and dark tones contrast very well.
Love Gloom starts strong, and track after track is relentless. Where “Fangs” is a bit brighter than “Nothing Personal,” those dark undertones are still very much there, and the first line, “Shadows follow me,” reminds you of this. Then comes the synth-heavy, massive track, “Contagious.” This song is larger than life with a very strong synth lead and big drums to round things out - everything about the track is strong and anthemic. Where “Contagious” is synth and drum driven, the following song “Work It” is carried heavily by strong bass and incredible vocal work. By the time “Work It” comes in, Night Riots’ timeless sound will be obvious. Track after track, they manage to keep growing and changing, keeping you on your toes, and you’re only one third of the way through the album.
After the first interlude, which comes in with the sounds of a thunderstorm, dark synth and vocals, “Don’t Kill The Messenger” brings in the second part of the album with a very 80’s sound. Right off the bat, the song has hints of Depeche Mode’s “Enjoy The Silence,” switching gears from the first half of the album and immersing you even deeper into Night Riots’ world. The following song, “Breaking Free,” while very upbeat, is also electronic and synth driven as well, further cementing the brighter and more upbeat middle themes of the album. Driving it home is the psychedelic “Tear Me Apart,” which, while slower and more dreamy than “Breaking Free,” is just as powerful.
While the many different sounds and moods on Love Gloom would normally threaten to make an album feel disjointed or choppy, every song flows surprisingly well. Instead of sounding inconsistent, it plays like a movie, with a beginning middle and end, and the ending of Love Gloom is on the opposite end of the emotional spectrum from the beginning. “Pull Me Down” starts things off feeling bright and hopeful, followed “Everything Will Be Alright,” which stands out because of the use of acoustic guitar coupled with synth. But the most surprising song on the album is easily the final track, “As You Are,” a simple acoustic ballad that brings things to an end on a beautiful note, asking, “Can we just start over?” And by the time Love Gloom comes to an end, you’ll be dying to start it all over again, too.
Listen to "Nothing Personal" or "Don't Kill The Messenger"
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