Why exactly Lorene Drive didn’t put “Let It Go” as the lead-off track for “Romantic Wealth” is beyond me. The first track, “God Knows I Love You Kid” is a track that is essentially a non-starter for the band, as it is even cut in a style that makes it feel as if it was culled from a different set of tracks than the rest of the disc. As it is, the beginning track provides a considerable, but not insurmountable hurdle for listeners to truly enjoy this disc.
The rest of the music of “Romantic Wealth” showcases Lorene Drive as one of the best purveyors of the current emo-rock scene, finding themselves to be a close second behind the undisputed masters of the scene, Amber Pacific. Of equal distance from the general sound of “Romantic Wealth” is the hardcore-esque breakdown of “So Easy”; this seems to be more of a logical extension of the tremendous weight of emotional burden that each member of the band brings to the table than the out-of-context opener. The more gritty sound of “A Song In The Key Of Sex” really makes the anger of the band bubble over into the smooth vocals of Daniel more so than any earlier part of the disc. Where the guitars and drum arrangements take this darker turn, the shining light of Daniel’s voice makes for a disconcerting but good feel to the track.
While many of the arrangements on “Romantic Wealth” are not as technical as they could be, hints of that technical virtuosity make for some of the most memorable moments on this disc. For example, the guitar solo that twists and turns through the middle of “Kill Your Lover” is the instrumental equivalent to the catchy vocals of Daniel that find their way on the disc. The continual switching up of their overall sound is Lorene Drive’s strongest suit, as the different amalgamations of emo, punk, rock, and indie are really what will keep individuals listening – just to see what is next. Pretty much the only hang-up one can find on “Romantic Wealth” is that there are a lack of truly catchy, radio-friendly songs. The band’s first single “Let It Go” has had legs for a while, but “For The Rest Of Us” seems to be too anemic to properly capture the hearts of listeners. Perhaps if Lorene Drive stops by a studio and shucks the distorted (for some reason) piano and uses acoustics to re-create the track, “For The Rest Of Us” could be an absolutely fabulous single.
Top Tracks: Let It Go, Lip Service
Lorene Drive – Romantic Wealth / 2005 Lobster Records / 10 Tracks / http://www.lorenedrive.com / http://www.lobsterrecords.com / Reviewed 06 August 2005