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Remember when U2 and the Alarm wrote unabashedly uplifting anthems, with simple, catchy guitar hooks, lighter-waving arrangements and lyrics that unironically championed love and joy over hate and gloom? Remember when those bands performed these tunes with the enthusiasm of true believers, with the conviction that love really will conquer fear – and we believed them? Divine Weeks remembers. The L.A. band kicks off We’re All We Have, its fourth and supposedly final album, with “Fight For Love,” the kind of towering, optimistic rock song that’ll make you wave your hands, hug your neighbor and sing along. Singer Bill See, guitarist Raj Makwana, bassist Steve Soto (not the late Adolescents’ bassist) and drummer Dave Smerdzinski respond to the dark cloud settling over Trump’s America not with anger but with faith – not in the current regime’s one-sided, divisive vision of the United States, but in humanity’s ability to transcend the coming darkness and prevail. There’s no irony whatsoever in songs like “Don’t Get Caught On the Wrong Side of History,” “The Indomitable Force of Love” and “We’re All in One & One is All” – See has no doubt that every sentiment he sings is true, and the rock hooks back him up. That’s not to say doubt doesn’t creep in from time to time – cf. the uncertainty of “Too Much Beauty” or the anger at the core of “Darkness Brings Out the Light in Me.” And certainly Donald Trump and his cronies wouldn’t bother taking any kind of hard look at themselves if by some bizarre miracle this album found its way to their streaming services. But by the time you get to the moody, album-closing “Hold On to Love in a World Gone Mad,” the band’s burning conviction and ringing guitars will have you on their side, convinced that change is inevitable, because the consequences are too dire if it isn’t.
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