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Superlove – follow:noise Review

Follow the noise? Decades of horror movies would argue against the hypothesis aired by Superlove, their presumed intention here is to undo generations of fight or flight response. Follow the noise. Their latest record, follow:noise, is a continuation of their broad rock styles, the heavy-hitting guitar work which lets noise-pop gel with the self-imposed vocal remixes. Do not fear technology. This is not a Brass Eye skit. This is a blurring of the line between noise pop and suggestions of electronicore. Some of it works, and Superlove is more than capable of competing with the contemporaries of this sub-genre. More than just rock, this is clear enough. In fact, it is clear to hear the band are wanting to move onto some harsher riffs with electronics to guide them.  

Ever the need to be convinced, opener You is slick and well-mixed and Go! gives those heavy rock tones a run for their money. Electronicore turns to distortion and the latter suits follow:noise much more. Even then, the masking of a strong vocal range is somewhat fascinating. Superlove brings three talented musicians together whose noise-pop formation does pull focus from hopeful and inspired lyrics. Still, Jacob Rice is everything a frontman should be and he is guided by focused instrumentals which bring around steady thematic swing. Doubling down on this and guiding it through on the pop-like Easier cement the band with an ability to cut solid, lighter presence in their music. But follow:noise is keen to keep things fresh.  

Superlove never lets one singular subject or style dominate, other than heavy-set percussion which is essential for holding this project together. Instead, follow:noise feels unprocessed and likeable, a cheerful sincerity roars through Something Good, a track which demands more than the rather twee and poppier, weather-led back-and-forth of Lifeline. Deflating to hear the album take this direction, but inevitable when Superlove must keep their lyrics simpler at times of creativity in the instrumental sections. Although they forget the latter half with the title track, follow:noise does not sour. It charts a course through those coaxing, pop audience bait songs, switching them onto Upside Down. Cut up some feelings and spread them across the toasty-yet-simple latter half of an album which uses up its steam in coaxing a listener in. 

By the time Overdrive swings through, its pop simplicity firmed and unchanging, it is too late to stop. Power through the rest of it. Flickers of what was promised appear in follow:noise from time to time but Superlove find themselves on repeat after a little while. Harsh guitar work to open, and regurgitate some padded electronics with a distorted feel and an impressive octave range from the frontman. Fine enough but a little tired toward the end. Maybe the weather Superlove sing of has more of an effect, and as the sun goes down, so too does the mood. Change Your Mind, then. Sick licks and well-formed, homemade production drives a real independent charge through follow:noise which certainly gives it an edge. There is a sense of completion, of artistic vision here, a real independence Superlove must continue to fight for and form. More than that, they need to pick it apart so they do not fall into the sameness which flows through the latter half. Dance away in the dark to Seasons, because as they change and the bloodshot ring around your eye bleeds out, it’s always nice to have a boogie. 

Ewan Gleadow
Ewan Gleadow
Editor in Chief at Cult Following | News and culture journalist at Clapper, Daily Star, NewcastleWorld, Daily Mirror | Podcast host of (Don't) Listen to This | Disaster magnet

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