I normally hate press releases. They usually build up an artist with preposterous claims of genius, labelling previous albums as “critically acclaimed” and the item in your hand as “eagerly anticipated”. This sort of guff does my napper in with its assumption that the reader is a moron. By contrast, the twisted but hilarious PR for ‘…Love You’ by The Loves delivers no such nonsense, calling front man Simon a “singing idiot” and describing his vocals as “caterwauling”. That tells you all you need to know about how seriously they take this industry and why some of us have loved them for so long.
‘…. Love You’ is the fourth and final album by the London (though originally Cardiff) outfit before they all go their separate ways on Valentines Day this year. A decade of cracking catchy tunes and wonderfully shambolic live sets, which saw a revolving door like approach to band membership with thirty two people coming, most going and a small handful, stopping. Musically, they’ve always been rooted in the sixties, with a Nuggets LP in one hand, a Shangri Las 7” in the other and an Ohio Express 8 track cartridge in the musty velvet jacket top pocket. The ten tracks here are a fitting epitaph to their career, featuring some of the finest material they’ve produced. Two Jenna fronted ditties, the Spector-esq sweet harmony dripping girl pop of December Boy and the Blondie-like powerpop of That Boy is Mine will remain on my iPod for a long time to come, as will Simon’s urgent hook happy garage of Bubblegum and his doleful ballad It’s …the End of the World with a guest interjection from the Velvets Doug Yule… as Jesus. One song (O! My Gawd) even sounds a bit like 1990’s novelty hit Groove is in the Heart but only if a Welsh Mark E Smith had taken on the vocals. King Kong Blues is one of their occasional Led Zep style moments that I was never really a fan of but one stinker is a low failure rate. And that sums them up. More hits than misses, too noisy for the cutey indiepop kids, not po faced enough for the Mojo flicking real 60s obsessives, but just right for this old fella.