My Life In Black and White “Columbia”
We’ve been a bit slow on the uptake (for a change!) in discovering My Life In Black and White. The band actually formed in 2005 and have released four albums. The description of their sound is one which instantly appeals to us. It’s described as “wistful tunes combined with the filth and fury of punk rock, to deliver anthemic melodies of love, loss, life and death”. That sounds like a pretty perfect combination to us!
There has been a bit of a trend for bands to open up their album in a slower and more subdued tone. It’s something we have never approved of, and it would appear neither do My Life In Black And White!! Opener “The Last Of The Young Guns” is a brilliant, upbeat, punk rock n roll song. It makes sure the album grabs your attention right from the start. Although, given the quality of tracks like “Working Man” and “Hold Fast (San Francisco)” that really was never in doubt. They’re all great punk rock songs that also share a more straight forward rock n roll approach. It’s a combination of fast paced guitars playing strong melodies.
They’re also willing to ease off the intensity levels on occasions and really focus on the melody, as we see on “Final Hour” and “Too Close To Home”. That’s not to say there is anything lightweight about this band. Indeed the band certainly flex their punk muscles on songs like “Hell Or High Water” and “I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead”.
As always though, our favourites are the ones where they deliver melodic songs with punk attitude. A great example being “Radio”, the type of song we really wished was actually played on the radio! They really hit a peak with “Dead At 21” and “Marching Orders”, totally infectious tracks which are like the Yo-Yos or, for a more contemporary comparison, The Gaslight Anthem.
We always get slightly concerned when we see an album listing with over 10/11 songs as there is always a fear of ‘filler’ material (even for a great band like The Gaslight Anthem). However, this album really does rock from start to finish, indeed, given the demise of the Gaslight Anthem, their fans could easily find that My Life In Black and White perfectly fill that gap. That is not to say they’re a copycat band. They do have their own sound, it is just built on the same key building blocks; brilliant rock n roll songs, full of melody but delivered with a modern punk sneer.