Monday, February 2, 2009

The Loved Ones - Distractions

The Loved Ones are a decent band. That's kind of hard to say, as it's really Dave and whoever he's got playing with him at the time. At this point, I think it's still Mike and the guys from The Explosion. Distractions is a six song EP that pairs three new tracks with three covers. The new songs are as decent as any Loved Ones songs. They are hooky as hell, but as Hause gets closer and closer to his solo singer-songwriter turn, they sound more and more like The Gin Blossoms. I almost always point that out, and always feel the need to qualify that it's not a bad thing at all. For the record, it's still not. There are some odd missteps, like the keyboard parts cobbled on to Last Call that shoot for E Street and end up Diesel Boy, but Distracted is as good a tune as The Loved Ones have ever had, and they sure have some good ones.

Hause has a solo record coming out soon. It makes sense. We've seen all the signs of him moving away from the punk rock thing. (That's an observation and not an out and out judgement, although me being kind of a dick, I can see reading something that there). Case in point would be his jocking of The Hold Steady in a fashion that makes my unabashed sycophancy seem understated and charming. It's a lofty aspiration, and I'm not saying that Hause isn't going to be able to pull it off, but the three covers show the threadbare secondhand rock t-shirts these Emporers are dressing in. When The Loved Ones set the bar high, like on the cover of Springsteen's Johnny 99 that comes off bar band at best, you see where they aren't quite there yet. It just comes off Gaslight Anthem, and nobody wants that. To be fair, the Billy Bragg cover comes off pretty well, and the Strummer tune splits the difference enough to make this a pretty good EP. If you're old like me, you'll probably roll your eyes at the covers, but Distractions is only $6, and the three new tunes are worth that at least, so pick it up here from the kids at Fat. The Loved Ones are hibernating, but Hause is playing some solo shows, including one at the Unitarian Church in Philly on 3/26. You can get tickets for that here.


No comments: