All right, I’ve good news and I’ve got bad news. Bad news first, bands rarely rock together forever. It’s sad, but it’s the truth, sorry. However, the good news is that when a band dies, other groups usually scavenge a piece or two, so a portion of it ends up living on in a new medium. Sometimes, this method can be inefficient and various appendages will waste away until a mad scientist starts digging through graves and snatching parts to create their own megaband/sin against god. If anything has been learned from science fiction, it’s that taking pieces of dead objects and reanimating them in a new form is always a good idea. Either that or the exact opposite, I forget the details sometimes. In the same vein, four thick strings have been unwoven from Kid Dynamite, five thin ones attached to formerly unused vocal chords are from The Curse and an array of skins have been peeled from Trial by Fire. When combined with a lightning storm and a hunchback, the three separate entities became The Loved Ones.
Their self-titled debut EP does not really show much of the hardcore or emo genetics that were apparent in the member’s former bands. The vocals never get as outright screamy as you hear in hardcore music or as whiney as emo, though it leans dangerously close to both on several different occasions. One of the few complaints that I have with this trio is that there isn’t really anything that sets them apart from the 50,000 other good punk bands that are thrilling crowds out there, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The Loved Ones are just straightforward punk rock with no bells, whistles or gimmicks to distract you.
The EP starts up with "100k", which is an upbeat, fast-paced song that gets you into the music immediately and sets the bar pretty high in terms of expectations for the next four songs. Unfortunately, none of them really match the intensity of this one. The second track, "Chicken", which starts off kind of strange and all over the place in tempo, eventually settles down into a good song that I can see being the one that the whole crowd sings along with at concerts. At the midpoint of the album comes "Massive", a slower, repetitive song that has the angriest sounding vocals on the EP, but lacks the speed or emotion to really get that anger across and sounds needlessly drawn out at times as well. "Drastic" is a one man ballad, very reminiscent of Green Day’s "Time of Your Life", except it probably won’t get any play at prom or in those stupid photo slideshows you had to watch at the end of senior year that were full of fake smiles and wretched bitches, but I digress. "Candy Cane" finishes off the album strong and almost reaches the levels set forth by the “100k”, but never quite gets there.
If you start up this EP expecting to hear something revolutionary that will change the way you listen to music from now on, I don’t think you’re going to be very happy with what you get. However, if you realize that you are listening to a first offering from a punk band that has only been together for about eight months, you’re going to be pleasantly surprised with what you hear from your speakers. The Loved Ones aren’t quite a well-oiled machine yet, but they have a lot of potential and could easily become a household name over the next few years, assuming they stay away from torch-wielding peasants and windmills.