Rating:

3.5/5

Verdict:

Still dour, but more diverse second offering from London trio

Advertisement

White Lies are another in the line of bleak-sounding bands like Editors, Interpol, and - the most popular of late - the National. On their 2009 debut,

To Lose My Life

, the London trio had a healthy preoccupation with death and a similar sonorous sound to Joy Division (even though all three were far from being born when Ian Curtis was still around).

Yet there was a soaring sonic charm to their songs, similar to the Killers, that came courtesy of added synth and string arrangements. And this follow-up is more of the same but with even darker, more clamorous moments.

There's also more electronic wizardry to it, and it is often overwrought, yet uplifting in the same way Tears For Fears'

Shout

or

Everybody Wants to Rule the World

was.

And instead of death, it's peace, love, and power that get an airing, while there are still touches of the macabre: "I lay like a carcass your lips never letting the blood dry," sings frontman Harry McVeigh.

So it's a more muscular and diverse record than the first.

Holy Ghost

throbs along with a dirty fuzzy riff before opening up into a stealth synth anthem;

The Power & the Glory

has scurrilous sounds fossilised into it, despite its boppy beats; and

Turn the Bells

, with its mix of big sad beats and grandeur, is a tear-jerker (or sulky depending on your point of view). The unassuming highlight is

Peace & Quiet

with its spirited Human League-meets-Spandau Ballet refrain.

- TimeOut