Label: Razor & Tie
HIM’s latest album is, by no means, a boundary pushing release, but definitely a lovelorn, thematic frolic for core fans to enjoy. Following its key-driven intro, Tears on Tape hits a (somewhat premature) musical apex with an early trio of songs: “All Lips Go Blue,” “Love Without Tears,” and “I Will Be The End Of You”—all three very similar in composition: mid-tempo, rhythmically driven gains—injected with quick picking riffs to spark up some urgency, all the while; Valo’s vocal gloom, and a dark instrumental current are locked in a restraining balance—generating some exciting, sonic friction over span. The vibrantly emotive undertones and ghoulish, anthemic power locked within these tracks will surely make for some heavily amplified live sets.
The album begins its slide from apex with tracks like “Into The Night” more upbeat (oddly lighthearted) key-chiming numbers: still decorated in distortion, but in too sharp a conceptual contrast with the record’s earlier tone of darkness. Valo & company, however; do not allow the album to sink creatively—saving it with a couple of standout tracks: “No Love” and “W.L.S.T.D.” respectively—the latter of the two (which its lyrics indicate: apparently does not stand for “we love sexually transmitted diseases”) displaying the most experimentation we get on this safe, familiar but welcome release. @MattCrane
Tears on Tape is available for pre-order on iTunes today.