“Sketch” is a track that shows The Love Drunks as a band that is looking backward for their influence In a sense, all bands look backward for their influences, but the ties are much more clear when The Love Drunks step to the play. For example, hints of fifties country, ZZ Top, and even Van Halen become prevalent during this three minute introductory course to the band. In much the same vein, the bass line surrounding tracks like “Revenge” come out of the rockabilly tradition, and really has a sound comparable to the current punkabilly bands (Tiger Army, Nekromantix). However, the chugging bass line of songs like “Revenge” are not the tepid, warmed-over beats created by unimaginative punks that have a stiffy for Cry-Baby.
The style of The Love Drunks is constant throughout the entirety of this self-titled album; this does not keep songs like “Riot in a Haymarket Square” from being examples of an incredibly catchy, current track done with an older style. None of these tracks feels as if it will be on the radio anytime soon, but this is not The Love Drunk’s fault as much as it the winds of change not favoring the band. The band does make one major move into a different musical style with “John Hutcherson Rag”. In “John Hutcherson Rag”, The Love Drunks go into a realm that has not been touched since The Replacements released “Hootenanny” all those years ago. Along with that, The Love Drunks have added a “Rawhide”-type of tempo to the track that makes this track of a different ilk than anything else that has hit listeners previously. In regards to the catchiness factor, The Love Drunks crest on this self-titled album with “Riot In A Haymarket Square”, “John Hutcherson Rag” and “Blow”. “Blow” mixes a little James Brown in with good old American drone-rock to make something that is brilliant in its earthiness. The one thing that works in The Love Drunks’ favor is that the album barely creeps over the half-hour mark.
This short duration means that individuals can throw on the disc and have no chance of getting tired of the music that issues forth. The Love Drunks never sit on their laurels on this album and really tie themselves tightly to the rest of the retro style that is being pushed forth by labels like Alive and Dollar Record. Give this album a go.
Top Tracks: Heaven, Blow
The Love Drunks – S/T / 2006 Alive / 10 Tracks / Thelovedrunks@yahoo.com / http://www.alive-totalenergy.com / Reviewed 08 April 2006