Written back in 2003 while Larson's full-time outfit Alabama Thunderpussy was waist deep in their desperate search for a vocalist to replace the departed Johnny Throckmorton, many of the songs on Faith, Hope, Love are personal statements of true emotional/physical frustration. Larson, a native of Richmond, Va, who handled all the instrumentation and writing himself, has a candor in his lyrical delivery that few can claim, but never touches upon any kind of pretention. He is, rather, genuine and down to earth as he lays out his beliefs on life and what it is that helps him through his hard times. Musically, Faith, Hope, Love skews a bit heavier and a bit rawer than ATP's last record, Fulton Hill (Relapse), but with mainstay producer Mark Miley at the board, it's not far off. Tracks like "Smile" would easily fit on an ATP album, and not just because of the guest spot by that band's vocalist Johnny Weills. Of particular note is the cover of Elliot Smith's "Say Yes", which closes the album on an almost bubble-gummy pop note. Larson points to the track as a personal favorite and a song he's looked to in rough times, and on that level(if not sonically), it fits right in with the rest of the material. This is a cathartic collection from an incredibly gifted songwriter. His southern style may not be what's en vogue as far as mainstream metal goes, but his sincerity is unquestionable, and for a record like this, that's more important than fasion any day.
released 18 October 2005
Erik Larson: Drums, Guitar, Vox, Bass
Additional vocal on "Smile" by Johnny Wells.
Recorded and mixed at Glass Hand Studio.
Recorded by Mark Miley.
Produced by Erik Larson.
Mastered Bill McElroy at Slipped Disc.
Art and design by Brian "The Butcher" Cox.
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