Jim Trainer

Give Us Your Heart

In Uncategorized on November 28, 2011 at 7:51 pm

The kids today, maybe they the like the smug “joke on everybody” that contemporary rock bands perpetrate.  Rock and roll is serious business for me though.  The joke ain’t funny, rather, it feels like the joke is on me when I have to suffer some of the acts kickin it in the underground postNevermind.  Conversely, I am profoundly affected and appreciate rock and roll with the element essential of any great band: heart.  I want the heart and I need it bad.  I don’t care about fashion or irony when it comes to rock and roll.  Give us your heart or go home.
What gripped me the first time I saw NOLA’s Lovey Dovies was their heart.  They play LOUD.  There must be something in the water in New Orleans because the Lovey Dovies have that big, thick&ominous, sludge-like sound so common in bands from the Big Easy.  The guitar is thick, crunchy, distorted, heavy.  The drummer is just bashing his kit. He lays down some of that sloppy, destructo-swing that comes naturally when you’re playing from the heart.  The bass has a high, trebly and punchy tone.  Its melodic and obnoxious in a pop punk way.
I was riveted by their set during SXSW last March but it wasn’t until I got home and listened to their CD that I discovered what I love so much about the Lovey Dovies.  They could be a pop-punk band, if said pop-punk band had to trek through the ruin&mire of the swamp state to play a show to 10 people in the Live Music Capital of the World and mean it.
They’re raucous and loud but underneath it all is a real vulnerability.  The melodies this band plays, that guitarist/frontman James Hayes sings, that the underground could dismiss as pop in disgust, they’re full-on and out in the open.  It’s not campy or sentimental.  It’s not weak.
These guys sing about heartbreak the same way that bands like Tad from Seattle did before that Great White Hype of grunge in the 90s. They come and bleed with a sincerity that reminds me of Promise Ring warehouse shows back in Philly.  These guys are the real deal. James lays his heart out for her.  She doesn’t want it, he gets hurt.  Then the band explodes into it.  They bore through sadness in such a punk rock and adolescent way, without a hint of irony and couldn’t care less how it looks to be heartbroken.
Their eponymous debut is the soundtrack to the end of my lonely summer.  I had just got back from the pool when I put the CD on.  I took off my summer shirt, my shorts.  I hung them with the towels on the terrace outside.  It was getting cold out there and the sun was setting.  I put on my longsleeve blue sailor’s undershirt and my black knit cap.  The summer was over and I’d lost the only person who meant anything to me in the whole damn town.  That’s what the Lovey Dovies sound like to me: the sound of summer being over with no one around to care.

(Please read the interview I did with the Lovey Dovies here.)

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  1. I can nearly hear them grinding out their music. Well captured Jim!

  2. […] nothing while we boogie wit Iggy&Zevon&Randy Newman&Hot Snakes&Cory Branan&Lovey Dovies&Thee Nosebleeds.  Don’t worry about them, punkrocker.  They will get fooled […]

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