Wow, is it just me or does “Suture Self” remind anyone of early Descendents? Well, maybe not EARLY Descendents, but something that really would have had to come out circa 1987-1988. Anyways, comparing a band to the Descendents (and there’s a little nod to Rise Against, as well), should be seen as nothing less than a glowing bit of praise.
The Loved Ones deserve this; their “Keep Your Heart” comes out with a freshness and a lack of jaded cynicism that is so prevalent in the scene today. However hard it is to believe, The Loved Ones even increase their stock further from “Suture Self” with “Jane”, a track that is very influenced with the frenetic energy of Husker Du and early Goo Goo Dolls (we’re talking “Jed”) but with some of the shrill guitar work that has came out of California in the last two decades. The track length on songs like “Keep Your Heart” are absolutely perfect; The Loved Ones infuse each track with enough repetition to ensure familiarity but not over a long enough period to get individuals bored or otherwise weakened in their love for the band. “Sickening” may have a slower tempo, but there is no doubt that this may be the most emotional song of 2006; forget emo, this is Dave throwing eirself under the train and hoping for the best. This is what Green Day should have done with the slower tracks on their “American Idiot”, instead of the schmaltzy garbage that ultimately found its way onto the finished disc.
This is more than punk; this is some of the best rock out in the last twenty years. I hear a lot of the same sound in The Loved Ones as I do with Amber Pacific; this is not to say that both the bands play the same style of music or anything, but both really want to come up with the best, most hooky song; labels be damned. The disc has thirteen cuts that top out at about thirty-four minutes; the style of music that The Loved Ones play is so amenable that to all but the most ardent haters, this album will go by in no time. Bands like NOFX and Bad Religion knew what was up with The Loved Ones; it is about time that the average rock fan knows exactly who they are and why they should pick up this album.
Top Tracks: Suture Self, Jane
The Loved Ones – Keep Your Heart / 2006 Fat Wreck / 13 Tracks / http://www.thelovedonesband.com / http://www.fatwreck.com / Reviewed 25 January 2006