Sounding virtually indistinguishable from the rest of the new-rock that has found its way onto heavy rotation in seemingly every Clearchannel-owned station, Denver’s Love.45 sounds like Breaking Benjamin and Earshot, as well as Creed and Taproot with their opening track, “Way Down”. The music is very coherent and while the mastering has allowed for the distinguishing of every individual instrument, the track comes forth as if a band, instead of four individuals had played the track. Mixing a little of “Silent Lucidity”-era Queensryche and Mr. Big, the beginning strains of “So Loud” open up into an interestingly—arranged and catchy guitar line. Much like the use of the dulcimer by Aerosmith on their “Pump” album of the early nineties, Love.45 uses this seemingly-anemic tempo to put forward what is truly a tempestuous, hard-rocking track. What is immediately recognizable at the earliest stages of this self-titled disc is the seamless mixing of different genres, whether it be the traditional rock that predominates the tracks or the Soul Asylum and Collective Soul-esque alternative that makes a strong case for dominance throughout.
By far the selling point of Love.45 is not their originality nor their instrumental virtuosity but rather the extremely catchy pop-rock that they create on the average track . While metal-heads will probably not get into the album just due to the more emotive and introspective moments on the disc (like Fade, a track that sounds like mid-nineties “Always”-era Bon Jovi or “two Steps Behind” Def Leppard), the simple fact is that any true fan of music should be more than happy with the crusts and gullies created by the emotional wave created by Love.45. Despite the fact that popular music has been inundated with the same style of pop-rock that Love.45 play, Love.45 comes through with a solid album that is free of clichéd guitar lines and Danny’s vocals come through as so much more than a carbon copy of Scott Strap, two things which are painfully present among the heap of sub-standard bands out now.
The bi-polar attempt by the band to equally cover the light and dark elements of their influences showcases the only weak spot on this disc. Since the time given to each section is somewhat equal, the among of rubbernecking needed for one to gain a full understanding of the disc is almost too much to expect from the average issue. Still, this album would be one of the only albums I’d honestly pay for given the fact that Love.45 completely destroys any of my expectations for a band in the genre.
Top Tracks: Awake, Way Down
Love.45 – Self/Titled LP / 2004 Rock Ridge / 12 Tracks / http://www.love45.com / Reviewed 05 February 2005