[sic] Magazine

Alcoholic Faith Mission – Let This Be The Last Night We Care

Now some distance from their folky beginnings, Thorben Jensen and Sune Sølund have fleshed out their line-up for this latest release with an all butter-and-bacon-loving cast. Most noticeably new to the party is Kristine Permild with whom elfin vocal duty is now shared.

Clearly not shy of a little emotive piano, the newly-bolstered Alcoholic Faith Mission make a play straight for the heart with the wide-open spaces of their ominously-titled opener “Put The Virus In You”. It’s filled out with driving Nordic indie-rock, yet smothered in cloudlike vocal harmonising and a certain muteness that forgives the otherwise overblown nature of the arrangement. In truth, it’s a formula worth repeating and repeat it they do, pleasingly if not challengingly.

In doing so, it is safe to say that these Brooklyn-based Danes sound homesick. Sure, there are flecks of Mercury Rev to their delicate indie-rock, smears of high-pitched warbling borrowed from the underrated Windmill , but Let This Be The Last Night We Care seems to most align itself with fellow Danes, and fellow Arcade Fire graduates, The Kissaway Trail .

A little post-rock guitar squall is added to the sound on “My Eyes To See” as Permild spas with the boys over the resultant clatter. The chiming and improbably-titled “Got Love? Got Shellfish!” combines curious keyboard bubbling with key changes powerful enough to please even the most inept of lighting curators. Yet easily the most cohesive and inventive track on the album is “Honeydrip” – a crossing of The Cocteau Twins ‘ otherworldliness with Beck ‘s song-crafting nous, only with one of The xx ‘s trademark bass lines thrown in periodically. Inexplicably, it’s held back until last making its statement with widescreen guitar, full backing accompaniment of “oohs” and “aahs”, and attention grabbing lyrics like, “caught you in the act, you’re so devious”.

On the other hand, “Sobriety Up And Left” is one of a series of sorry tales saved largely by pretty vocals, and “Closer To Dallas” is a little plodding when it aimed for twinkly. Nevertheless, they help achieve what The Kissaway Trail did not on their sophomore. Firstly, the Alcoholic Faith Mission have fun – it’s clear in their booze-ridden band name and song titles, but secondly they don’t forget to temper the high-life with reality. Alcoholic Faith Mission are both sides of the coin at once, and more often than not it’s an appealing balance.

Advised downloads: “Honeydrip” and “My Eyes To See”.

Let This Be The Last Night We Care is out now on Pony Records .