A candidate for best and longest new band name of the millennium, Austin's I Love You but I've Chosen Darkness has finally released its much-anticipated full-length debut. During the nearly three years since issuing its 2003 Britt Daniels-produced EP, the quintet has focused on sharpening its sound and building a reputation in its home town. This time out, I Love You delivers a darker, more atmospheric edge, provided by Ministry veteran Paul Barker. With touchstones in atmospheric '80s pop (think Echo and the Bunnymen or the Church) as well as British shoegazer (Stone Roses, maybe, or My Bloody Valentine), the songs on Fear Is on Our Side recall twenty years of gloomy guitar rock with sparkling clarity. Vocalist Christian Goyer croons with a dreamy, moody intensity, while guitarists Ernest Salaz and Daniel Del Favero plait their strings into acid-washed textiles that drape the proceedings in shadowy, gothic romance. The heavy bottom end provided by bassist Edward Robert and drummer Tim White sends the whole swirling mass hurtling inexorably into an ecstatic, reverberating abyss. Darkness prevails once again.
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