Grow Up

Mister Loveless

Shady Glen Records, 2012

http://www.misterloveless.com

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 04/30/2013

As a general rule, when I hear about a band compared to Joy Division, I groan. Not because I don't like Joy Division, because I do, and not because some of their copycat bands aren't great, because they are, but mostly because for awhile there it seemed like my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 every band was doing their best Ian Curtis impression.

Mister Loveless, from Oakland, is one of the somewhat newer bands that wear their throwback post-punk influences proudly. While they've been embraced by the skateboarding community after some video placement, and the San Francisco Bay Area modern rock radio station Live 105 named them one of the 'Top 20 Bay Area Bands of 2011,’ this listener was still a bit skeptical. As an admittedly self-proclaimed expert of all things post-punk related, this disc required some serious investigation on my end.

Right away, there's a definite moodiness in their guitar driven indie rock that points to influences from the UK around many decades ago now. However, there's just as much gritty '90s energy similar to legends like Sonic Youth or Pixies. “Nineties Children” parallels this thought perfectly, with thundering drums and loud, driving, tense rock. “Punk Like Me,” despite its brazen title, is a sophisticated, dynamic alt-rock explosion; it’s a track that manages to stand out among a handful of solid tunes. Bouncy guitars, memorable hooks, and soaring choruses make up songs like “Wild Summer” and “Vandalism Dreams,” while things reside more on the subdued side of the spectrum with the dreamy “Saint Obscura” and the closer “Curfew,” which wouldn't be out of a place as a Jealous Sound outtake.

Kind of grungy, definitely charged indie rock, occasionally '90 alt-rock and with plenty of punk spirit underlying the whole affair, this is what I imagine Morrissey listens to on his tour bus when he wants to really get animated on stage that night. If record labels weren't obsolete, this is the kind of album that spawns bidding wars.

Rating: A

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


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