On a raw, soggy Wednesday night, an army of San Franciscans donning thick cardigans and even thicker horn rimmed glasses peruse Café de Nord's intricate wainscoting and hand carved mahogany bar as The Love Language plugs in. Along with orchestral Dan Deacon and eclectic veterans Yo La Tango, Love Language parade into town for SF's 2011 Noise Pop Festival. Though a few thousand miles from home, Raleigh, North Carolina based were treated to some genuine Bay Area hospitality with hoots, hollers, and roaring applause.
Kicking off with "Blue Angel", a moody, transportive number off The Love Language's sophomore LP, Libraries, front man Stuart McLamb croons: " I feel a little drop of rain / I feel a little moon to flood the shore / danced upon the tide / and tanked to the ocean floor." Propped by communal hand clapping and jazzy bass grooves, McLamb begs for certainty amidst an endless sea of questions, stretching out his syllables for a fragile, expiring lover: "blueeeeee angellllll / will we ever learn to swimmmmm?"
On "Heart To Tell," grimacing guitar riffs and visceral rhythmic punch complement McLamb's seductive, yearning whisper: "I need a flame and she's a water bearer / Now I'm rubbing sticks out in the rain / Well it's just trial and error." The Love Language injects sparse piano and corrosive vocals to drive a gritty, quirky, minimalist vibe on "Manteo," off 2009’s self-titled Merge Records debut. In a lysergic ode to weirdness, McLamb weeps: "Chesapeake, I could barely speak / When I said my first goodbye / My angel, she had frozen feet / The day that I arrived."
Fresh jazzy tones seep through chiming Rickenbacker on "Brittney's Back," amidst a nonchalant and chiding shrug: "All I could do was apologize / Where's your piece of mind / Where's your silver line." The Love Language, spilling rivers of sweat every which way, rewarded Café du Nord's weeknight warriors with a tight set of frenetic electricity, seductive vocals and dueling currents of, of course, the dueling currents lust, love, and loss.