When the wiry frames of British punk-rock four-piece Lovvers first staggered into these eyes, and promptly erupted into a maelstrom of lo-fi furiousness that singed the very depths of these ears, the immediate thought was: this can’t last.
The band came together from the ashes of various other domestic one-time hopes; bands that had critics enraptured, but that couldn’t stay together for anyone more than the few kids that caught them first or – if they were lucky – second time around. Yet, some years on, here it is: a debut Lovvers album, and one that sounds remarkably focused when compared to their earliest rumblings.
OCD Go Go Go Girls is a punk-rock record that bleeds archaic influences from its paper-thin skin – The Replacements, The Wipers and Flipper are obvious sonic touchstones for the band’s most riotous numbers, underpinned as they always are by a developed sense of melody. Yet it can’t sound anything but contemporary due to the energy captured by producer Pat Kearns in Portland, Oregon: the vocals may be barely discernable, but they tell you more of this band’s hunger for their chosen art than a thousand slickly presented pop puppets.
The foggy mix might not appeal to those who like their hooks more predictable than tubby bellies in fast food outlets, but while the frameworks are fuzzy these arrangements still pack some serious instant-fix punches. Human Hair is a giddy spin of an all-too-brief dance number, designed seemingly to get skirts twirling at any underground bunker of repute; Four Count is an accessible-yet-acerbic strum-along, the sound of early REM corrupted by an anti-conformist attitude; and I Want To (Go) has a post-punk strut to it that’s sure to see hips snaking in appreciation.
The whole thing still buzzes with an excitement that only desperate youths can bring to the recording process, but unlike 2008 EP Think and their preceding limited-edition singles for the Jonson Family label, here Lovvers keep their eyes on the prize long enough to deliver a consistently enjoyable long-player proper. It’s not rocket science, and you’ll hear more compositional originality in the top 40 countdown; but with such bright enthusiasm conveyed, it’s hard to not be caught up in the excitement. --Mike Diver
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