LVL Up // Return to Love

Categories:  Music    Music Reviews
Wednesday, October 12th, 2016 at 2:30 PM
LVL Up // Return to Love by Nick Warren

LVL Up

Return to Love

Sub Pop 

4.25/5 stars

It’s impossible to overstate how perfectly Return to Love opens. “Hidden Driver” is one of most severely addicting tracks of the year, filled with a holy radiance brilliantly stolen from the Neutral Milk Hotel and the Thermals. The album shifts gears from guitarist Dave Benton’s Jeff Mangum impression to guitarist Mike Caridi’s excellent Built to Spill flavor (Benton and Caridi also happen to run the label Double Double Whammy). “Spirit Was” showcases bassist Nick Corbo’s J. Mascis-meets-Stephen Malkmus tone. It’s not as if the band feels disingenuous, eliciting such comparisons from other acts. LVL Up is on the same, well, level. They’re not hiding it, either. You can find a Spotify playlist from the band unceremoniously titled, “Bands that Influenced Return to Love.” Aside from drummer Greg Rutkin, every member is an active songwriter unto himself. The fact that the band has three different singers goes relatively unnoticed. Even after multiple listens, it all still feels like a product of the same voice. This is LVL Up’s third full length, and one that almost didn’t happen, as the restless band almost split before signing to Sub Pop. Thank goodness they stayed together. – Nick Warren

Erie Reader: Vol. 6, No. 25
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Get some holiday ink in exchange for donations

IN THIS ISSUE

Keeping it local this holiday season

A wildlife photographer captures Presque Isle State Park at dawn.

An account from the front lines of the North Dakota protest

 

Questioning the nostalgia of Rogue One

 

Get some holiday ink in exchange for donations

Prolific avant-garde bassist to perform solo one night only

Ruins has a retro authenticity that’s almost confusing.

Missy Twohig: owner, Sacred Piercing

Meet the Lee Family: owners of the last taxable property in the City of Erie.

Bogus baking soda and pessimistic pigs