The latest full length LP of LIFE, entitled A Picture Of Good Health is a collection of rapid-fire punk catharsis. It’s a record that focuses on personal and mental experiences conveyed in raw and unadulterated music, where emotions that cut deep are voiced out via pounding drums, screeching guitars and anthemic shouting. Chances are, if there are issues within you that you just want to yell and scream about, LIFE has got you covered.
You have what you expect from British punk – fast, loud and full of attitude – all of this in the name of “Good Health”, which also happens to be the album opener. In it, frontman Mez Green declares himself as a picture of good health over motorik bass and swelling noise, yet underneath the surface there’s a hint that his life is shrouded in apathy. “Moral Fibre” follows by narrating the traps that one can fall into, including drugs and social media, declaring them as piss ants and hollow pursuits over grinding guitars.
LIFE often changes up the tempo in favor of more nuanced post-punk. “Bum Hour” has a groovier beat carried by the drum and bass, a lazy day anthem that captures the feeling of not wanting to get up out of bed. “Half Pint Fatherhood” is a call-and-response jam with sparse pianos and a wall of heavy noise. In it Mez sings about his qualifications at being a father, one that leans more into self-doubt and fear.
The band mixes up their songs further with innovative sounds and textures used as a backdrop of their songs. “Never Love Again” has a verse with 80’s nostalgia while its chorus takes a Franz Ferdinand-like cadence. “Niceties” has synth strings and heavy guitar reverb that gives it a larger than life feel. One that perfectly complements its message of defiance to other peoples standards. “Stop Hating Yourself!”, Mez yells with blistering fervor, telling you you’re fine just as you are.
What’s great about this record is how it covers a wide range of topics that almost makes it a therapeutic catch-all. The band reflects the moral and personal anguish that characterizes our modern age. “Thoughts” captures anxiety by listing down a tumult of maddening insecurities, followed by a chorus that chimes: “There’s nothing to heal from”. “Don’t Give Up Yet” tells you to keep things together no matter how dire the situation is. If you’re looking for a loud pick-me-up on a tough day, you can’t go wrong with these.
A Picture Of Good Health reflects the current situation of our thoughts and fears in this day and age. It is an outlet and a snapshot of our predicament, one that LIFE paints with exhilarating vigor.