Everything about the name says what you need to know about Love Ends Disaster!. If you were expecting an ambitious, over-dramatic, hyperactive record, then ‘City Of Glass’ does not disappoint. Those of a more sensitive disposition though, may feel the boundless enthusiasm of this Midlands-based UK band a little too hard to swallow.
Initially the band wear their influences too obviously. Even the first song’s title – ‘City Of Glass (Cowboys)’ – has a touch of Arcade Fire about it. From a rather timid beginning, guitars and percussion build up into a familiar storm. Then we get a slew of songs which are excitable but lack hooks, although the spirited ‘Killer Bombs’ is punchy enough.
Love Ends Disaster! prove to be better when they are more immediate in their approach. ‘Ladders’ explores new wave and punk in the manner of a young XTC and ‘Pigtails’ surely indicates the group are fans of early Bauhaus. Their adventurous side also pays dividends: ‘Alexander’ is eerie art-rock whilst ‘Knight Takes Queen’ impresses with its experimental digital rock weirdness. Even ‘There’s Room In My Tardis For Two’ may initially appear to be a cute novelty but it’s significantly more exciting than the portentous beginning to the record.
If there is a word for ‘City Of Glass’ it would be unbalanced as the second half is far superior to the first. It is, in many ways, a typical debut with a youthful group clearly trying to cram any ideas in to an album as they can and sometimes they even succeed.
Arcade Fire, XTC