EP: Loveless – Loveless

Release Date: March 14th, 2013
Label: Unsigned
Website: None available
Facebook: www.facebook.com/lovelessuk
Twitter: None available

Rating:

A few years ago, emo got a pretty bad reputation in the mainstream for a couple of reasons; infantile lyrics, whiney vocals and moribund personalities. You know the sort, My Chemical Romance, Hawthorne Heights and all their bastard spawn. Since that scene went into decline, emo has made a resurgence with bands revisiting the genre as its roots, from DIY ethics to differing influences. However, east coast upstarts Loveless seem to be keen on reviving that mid-00s spirit on their self-titled EP.

Indeed, it’s the spirit what matters. Despite any aspirations the group has, this isn’t really emo by sound; if anything, it bears more in common with the stomping pub rock of Hard-Fi, the self-conscious folksiness of Frank Turner plus some added post-rock to the mix (which is the best aspect of their sound by a mile).

Opener, ‘Long Year’, sums up the sound of the group fairly well. Droning rock riffing, plus the joyless singing of Jake Bowman, before some sub-The Smashing Pumpkins chaotic chorussing. Much like Billy Corgan, the vocals of Bowman and Todd Emanuel will be acquired tastes. Whilst there may be flickers of potential, it’s ill suited to the instrumentation. With so much focus on pounding guitars and straight-down-the-line structures, it all too often becomes muddy and poorly defined.

Bowman and Emanuel prosper when they sing over the ending melodies, their angst-ridden vocals well contrasted with the uplifting outro. This is much of the same case with ‘Hurt’, where the catchy bass of Marcus Sutton drives the tune forward, before reverting back to aimless riffing. ‘Shell’ is the best track on the release, due to atmospheric tremolo-picking and crashing drums; it also pretty much has the least annoying vocals of the record, so that’s a relief.

‘Day In, Day Out’ sums up the problems the group has with words. Really, the lyrics aren’t fit for reproduction, but safe to say that the tune confronts the very rare subject matter of the 24-hour, day to day, corporate caffeine fuelled daily grind we all have to go through. The melodrama of Bowman‘s vocals reminds the listener that this is still very much a young band, still in lieu to certain conventions that should’ve died out last decade.

All in all, ‘Loveless’ is something of a clammy-fisted, nervous eyed first-time; maybe the group will look back fondly on it once they have more material released. For they’d do well to build on the melodic interplay they share, as opposed to leaning on generic downbeat riffing. It’s a start, but they’ve got a way to go yet.

Written by Fin Murphy

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