I went to see Lovvers last night at Cake Shop based solely on hearing their one (difficult to pronounce on the radio) track, “AXTXTXIXTXDXE.” It starts with a wash of undulating ascending feedback, turns into a lovely British-punk influenced jingle jangle, and finishes before it hits the two minute mark. Nothing groundbreaking, sure, but I thought it fit nicely into all of today’s lo-fi business, but happily incorporated more of their punk influences. Something about their recordings just seemed more honest to me, historically, than many similar bands floating around the web.
I was not disappointed at Cake Shop. I briefly spoke to their bass player afterwards, who informed me that they hadn’t played for awhile, and had played a really sloppy set. He also did not fail to mention, “We like it sloppy, though.” That was about right. They plowed through a quick set of short songs, impressive with their sloppily precise sudden tempo changes, occasional poppy guitar riffs, and high Brit-punk energy. Lovvers gained an additional layer of respect with their in-your-face lead singer. He sang from the audience, sometimes directly at them, once stopping his band to kiss one of them. He was engaging and ever so slightly confrontational, asking the audience to participate without being too pushy. It was this awareness that the crowd ought to be part of their show that ultimately won me over. Good punk music should be confrontational and challenging to everyone involved, and I liked that Lovvers seemed to understand that. They’re coming around again to Death By Audio in August before they had back to the UK, so if you missed them last night you have another opportunity coming up soon.
I enjoyed openers Ex Humans‘ punk set, as well. Their myspace tagline is “a tribe of barbarians sozzled to the gills on mead.” I don’t know them at all, and could obviously be completely incorrect, but this leaves me to believe that they’re three nice guys, working their day jobs in their suits, who like to come out at night and make all-around pretty good punk music. Their set was tight, fast, and fun. Nothing to write home about, but they got the job done and I had a good time watching them. I can’t say as much for the next band, Stupid Party, but I didn’t give their set my full attention, so I won’t say anything at all. Darlings rounded out the night, but I’d seen them twice recently so I didn’t stay for their whole set. I really like some of their songs (I know I keep saying this, but they remind me so much of the Strokes in attitude and lyrics that I kind of can’t get past it), but their live show dangerously skims the line between being fine and good. They’re a young band, and I think with time will grow into themselves. They’ve got the songs with clever lyrics and poppy hooks, now they just need a little more confidence and a little less cockiness.
P.S. I also wrote a review of last night’s free Man Man show for BreakThru Radio. You can read that here.