The Lovelies

I wanted to hate these guys the moment I laid eyes on White Leather‘s back cover, which depicts two of the Milwaukee trio’s members dressed in, you guessed it, white leather. Not that there’s anything unusually offensive about the image. It just seemed … contrived. So I expected White Leather to sound contrived. Ah, but first impressions aren’t always correct, and in this instance I was more than happy to be wrong. Listen to this album and try to remember the last time you heard something so fresh. Maybe it was Blondie. Maybe it was the Police. But even though the Lovelies themselves may only vaguely recall those bands, this album evokes the adventurousness of the burgeoning new wave movement. Drooling sheep will no doubt miss the point while going on about how “rock and roll” the band is. Sure, the Lovelies work within the established rock formula, but it’s what they do with it that sets them apart. In three-chord rock, energy and delivery usually carry the day. Not here. White Leather is crammed to the gills with hooks, but the band’s harmonic shifts are the key to the album’s richness. Lead singer Liv Lovely has a masterful ability to keep her voice slightly off-pitch but still on-target with elastic melodies. Add some bass and guitar and the music becomes dense and sumptuous. The result shows that as long as the Lovelies keep rock out of the hands of three-chord chimps too busy shouting rock and roll! to have a point, rock is not dead. Not by a long shot.

Categories: Music