Posted by: will | October 16, 2006

Life At These Speeds…


Life At These Speeds “To Your Health” (Level Plane)


The sad fact of the matter is that I have been completely ambivalent towards music and writing reviews of late. So, what has brought me back? Well, an album that has repeatedly blown my mind of late. Life At These Speeds are from Portland, Oregon and To Your Health is the band’s amazing second record. I have listened to this album an insane amount lately. The band’s influences are, for the most part, rather obvious. The DC sound is abundant here with certain nods to bands such as Fugazi and Rites Of Spring as well as to the San Diego scene that spawned bands like Drive Like Jehu. Yet, their take on the sound is so fresh and powerful that you will forget that all of this has been done so many times before.

To Your Health‘s first four songs kick off the album in a powerful fashion. These songs echo the relentless attack of the band’s Self-Titled debut record. But the band has matured at an astonishing rate and the better production certainly highlights that maturity. The band also shows a keen sense of diversity on To Your Health. While all the tracks certainly make for a cohesive record, there are a lot of different textures here. There is a definite melodic current that runs through the music of Life At These Speeds. It was hinted at on the band’s debut but on To Your Health, the melodicism shines through even on the album’s more hardcore songs. On the impressive back-to-back instrumentals “Going Out” and “Lights Please”, the band proves it is not afraid to break the mold. On the album’s centerpiece, “Blocking Out The Stars”, the band showcases how far they have come in such a short time. The song ends with the powerful lyric, Did you realize the weapon is inside the walls of your heart? “Simple Math” is quite simply what real emo is supposed to sound like. “Author’s Name” starts out sounding like another exploration into instrumental waters for Life At These Speeds. However, the song explodes halfway through and it sounds beautifully pissed off. The album ends with the epic “Heavy Hand” which starts off with an eerie lapsteel guitar before careening into something that easily touches on the grandeur of a band like …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead.

Life At These Speeds have done something monumental here. Along with Sinaloa, this band is pushing a sound and a genre that many have considered dead into new exhilirating directions. Life At These Speeds’ debut album was fantastic but I in no way could have expected anything on par with what the band has put forth on To Your Health. It’s an amazing achievement that runs the gamut of emotions. Records like this are what compel me to keep following underground music as closely as I do. And while I may become ambivalent to music and life at times, it is the overwhelming passion and sincerity of a band like Life At These Speeds that will always lift me up and keep me going. Simply put, To Your Health will be in my top ten albums at the end of the year.

RIYL: Fugazi, Drive Like Jehu, …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead


Life At These Speeds – Blocking Out The Stars (mp3)

Life At These Speeds – A New Design (mp3)



  1. […] Life At These Speeds album “To Your Health” was #4 on my Best of 2006 list. And while that album has been a huge part of my playlist in the […]

  2. […] to the finale. With their first recordings since 2006’s amazing To Your Health, Life At These Speeds continues with a brooding passion. “Younger Monkey” echoes the […]

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