|“Life’s Love Loss”|
|Release Date: April 4, 2013|
|Record Label: self-released|
Arco’s Angel, a side-project of Michael Roberts and J. Loren of the band Hurt, is set to self-release “Life’s Love Loss” on April 4, 2013.
The conception of Arco’s Angel began following the breakup of Michael Roberts’ band Leo. His long time friend, bassist Rek Mohr, had moved on to join the band Hurt and Roberts was left home alone without a musical outlet. His future appeared very bleak. “Starting over in music is not an ideal situation, and those were dark times.”
Roberts used this time to pour his feelings into music, recording a series of instrumental tracks which solidified into several song ideas. With the help of J. Loren, they started the search for the voice required to complete the music. But after several months of looking, each vocalist Roberts contacted fell through. Loren then made it his personal prerogative to help Roberts. “I offered to write lyrics and melodies for a couple of the tunes in the hopes of making the job of getting his band going again easier.” The work they produced attracted some interest but the project still failed to land a permanent singer, so after Loren’s next tour wrapped up, they decided to finish together what they had started. “Life’s Love Loss” was recorded, and Arco’s Angel was born.
With a strike of the ivory “Of Buttons and Leavers” begins. Then the music kicks in and punches you right in the gut. The vocals unfold as the guitars retreat into the background, and spin a tale of betrayal, doubt and hurt. The track is a telling pretext of what follows, both lyrically and musically; powerful music sure to elicit a strong emotional response.
“The Rose,” one of the darker tracks on “Life’s Love Loss”, progresses in a way reminiscent of early 90’s alt-rock classics. The twist and turns are both surprising and satisfying. It’s one of the strongest tracks on a release with few, if any, weak spots.
The diversity of the writing on this release is revealed in the next track, “Ready for Nothing.” The track is full of robust guitars and haunting vocal harmonies. The acoustic and electric guitar mix is perfect. They follow this grand lush track with “The Defeatalist,” the song with the catchiest hook on the release that will stick in your head long after it’s ended. Next the release settles into the slow ambient reveal of the doleful “Southbound (playin’ with guns).”
“At Loss for Worlds.” is another highlight of “Life’s Love Loss.” The riff is a bit similar to Hurt’s “Fighting Tao,” and is equally infectious. The loose and natural vocal performance from Loren is a slight departure from the norm and further proves his ability to effortlessly shift styles. It’s a skill few rock vocalist possess or utilize.
“Life’s Love Loss” fittingly closes with the final lament of “Everything,” a song about remembering what’s come before. The song builds up to reach an intense compunctious climax then abruptly pulls the rug out from under you with a distant prolonged ending.
Musically “Life’s Love Loss” is a showcase for Roberts’ songwriting, guitar playing, and in studio abilities. In all areas, he knocked it out of the park. Lyrically, the material is dark. The songs aren’t simply about loss of those around you, but also about losing yourself. Together, Roberts and Loren have effectively captured what it feels like during the times in your life when dark thoughts persist and everything else around you becomes background noise. Each track is skillfully crafted to convey a story that takes on different meanings depending on the experiences of the listener. The experience of life’s love loss.
- Of Buttons and Leavers
- The Rose
- Ready for Nothing
- The Defeatalist
- Southbound (playin’ with guns)
- At Loss for Worlds