Alcoholic Faith Mission
Let this be the last night we care
PonyRec/Paper Garden Records
My first exposure to Alcoholic Faith Mission was quite pleasant, but, with the exception of a few tracks, it was not an enduring experience. Still, I knew there was something there, a delicate concept that had not fully formed on "421 Wythe Avenue". In my review I compared the group to acts such as Broken Social Scene and fellow Danes Slaraffenland, whose "Private cinema", while a far more ethereal work, is a kindred spirit of Alcoholic Faith Mission's gentle, yet driven take on pop music. I also noted that "There is a tragic beauty here, one that blends the emotional registers of Mixtapes & Cellmates and Moonbabies, yet remains quite distinctively an original construct, and it is this ingenuity that sets Alcoholic Faith Mission apart from many of their contemporaries." All of this remains true on "Let this be the last night we care", but the promising intimations are now fully realized -- while retaining the airy, spacious attributes of "421 Wythe Avenue", there is an anthemic, Arcade Fire-like quality permeating the compositions; for fear of waxing poetic, it is as though the intricate clouds of dust of their previous effort have found a way to manifest themselves in a more concrete fashion. "Let this be the last night we care" is brilliant -- engaging even at its most haunted and distraught moments, such as "Sobriety up and left"; moving even when playful; gorgeously layered and focused, all in the same breath. I have had the distinct pleasure of reviewing a number of very strong albums over the past few weeks, and still Alcoholic Faith Mission's stands out from the crowd. It's rare to stumble upon an album like this, one that is reminiscent enough of other acts as to be somewhat nostalgic and yet remains so markedly unique, capable of reminding us where we've been while concurrently functioning as our soundtrack to the present.
- Lars Garvey Laing-Peterson