Fans of Birmingham indie rockers Peace have been waiting patiently (or not so patiently) for some time in anticipation for the band’s third studio album. They finished touring for 2015’s Happy People in late 2016, and since then have only played a handful of shows as they worked on what later was revealed as Kindness Is The New Rock and Roll. With all the time spend on making this record, it was hyped up to be one of 2018’s biggest releases… yet, what we were presented with left a lot to be desired.
The band committed an act of perfect trickery with this record – one that many artists execute, in their defense – where the most outstanding tracks were pre-release singles. Of course, the whole point of singles are to showcase the best from an album but with ‘From Under Liquid Glass’, ‘Power’ and ‘You Don’t Walk Away From Love’ taken away from the equation, listeners are left with nothing but filler bar a few somewhat promising offerings.
Peace’s previous albums, In Love and Happy People, were well balanced in that they delivered legendary tunes fit for the indie club nights of the world alongside emotional ballads that were a deep insight in to vocalist, guitarist and primary songwriter Harry Koisser’s life. Kindness Is The New Rock and Roll seems to be heavy on the latter with very little in the way of the former, as slow, poignant tracks like ‘Angel’ and ‘Choose Love’ are not the soundtrack for those wanting to cut shapes on a Saturday night with a pint of cider and black in hand.
There’s nothing wrong with making an album your tell-all diary, but it was so unexpected from a band like Peace. Once upon a time their lyrics were so well-written that it was hard to decipher them, but it’s almost impossible not to figure out exactly what (or who) every song on this record is about.
At the end of the day, this isn’t particularly a bad record. It’s solid enough, but there just seems to be a potential to it that wasn’t quite reached. It disappoints entirely in places, leaving you wondering how such sluggish material like this would fit in to the high-energy, no holds barred live sets that Peace are known for. With their UK tour beginning tomorrow with a headline performance at Live at Leeds Festival, we can only wait and see.