Love My Life… Hate My Friends

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“By 1998’s Love My Life…Hate My Friends — which Gold Standard Laboratories reissued later — Gogogo Airheart’s blend of dub, punk, and experimental rock came into clearer, if still abrasive, focus. Most notably, the dubby quality of Gogogo Airheart is downplayed save for a few tracks and assimilated into a gritty, post-post-punk sound that the band began to explore toward the end of their debut, driven by uptight guitars and heavy, undulating basslines. The album does feature several nods to their experimental roots, particularly on songs and interludes like “Congratulations” and “First Among Equals,” on which violins saw and squeal, and “These Honor Suits,” which alludes to their dub-inflected past. Gogogo Airheart’s more fully realized, jaggedly danceable sound comes forward on “No Language”; “How I Feel Tried,” which is at once playful and paranoid in its rattlesnake percussion and high-strung keyboards; and “Reaction Atria, Pts. 1 & 2,” which cuts the band’s dance-punk with station-to-station static. And before the album ends, the band finds time to stretch out musically with the densely noisy yet somehow poppy “The Correct Handling of Contradiction”; “Rebirth,” a galloping, largely acoustic song; and the oddly affecting instrumental closer, “Ever Since I Was Young.” While Love My Life…Hate My Friends is still ambitious and eclectic, it’s a far more cohesive and listenable work than their debut.”