It’s not often I get excited about hearing a new album these days so cynical and jaded one can often feel when hearing so much new music (and old) but I did get a little flutter of the pulse when I saw that The Loveless had actually completed a full album of material and pre-sales were available through the Cadiz website. so as the saying goes a fool can often be parted with their money and I clicked the purchase button.

The band has previously released two very limited edition EPs which feature some of the songs featured on this thirteen-track album. The album kicks off in a raunchy style with an original composition ‘Wild In The Streets’ and their credentials are laid bare and the cards are on the table. X has form and once played with punks legendry icon Stiv Bator before his untimely death but will be most known for being an integral member of 80s punks  Sigue Sigue Sputnik as well as playing with Adam Ant. It should also come as no surprise that Almond has a history of post-punk even when his pop career took off as the vocalist for Soft Cell but this Bowie, Iggy & Reid-influenced garage rock adventure is a fresh and vibrant romp through the late 60s and 70s garage rock genre from the covers they take ownership of and the original songs they insert through this love letter to good time underground Garage/glam rock.

‘Wild In The Streets’ is the perfect uptempo opener and showcasing Almond and X’s songwriting and their love of some loud, raw guitars and all things sleazy Rock n Roll. ‘Putty In Your Hands’ is a groovy bubblegum blowing hypnotic slice of Rock n Roll. It’s the zipped up, collars-turned-up leather jacket we all wish we could pull off whilst leaning on the jukebox whilst chewing on a lucky strike, no filter of course. There’s more to these cats than just being a covers band, to be fair even if they were they’re one formidable and cool covers band. Having Iggy’s rhythm section along for the ride adds yet more authenticity and throw a guest appearance from Glen Matlock on ‘Pills’ and you have a covers band that knows a thing or two about garage punk n roll and they are cooking on gas and we’re only halfway through side one.

Their take on The Sorrows ‘Take A Heart’ perfectly suits Almond’s vocal style and to be fair running through The Kinks ‘I’m Not Like Anybody Else’ is a smokey and exceptional take and rather than going for a better know song from the Davies catalogue they’ve chosen well. The last track on side one is the smouldering slow burner ‘Dark Side’ that suits Almond’s crooner persona but the beauty is in the guitar breaks that pepper the track like shooting stars in a misty evening sky lighting up everything beneath it showcasing a band who are right on the money and in love with what they do adding authenticity and star quality to a fantastic side of music.

Flipping it over side two begins with another Almond and Neil X composition ‘Nothing At All’ and then a few cover tracks the first culled from their previously released EP ‘Hot Hard & Ready’ before chasing through another Alice Cooper band track the fantastic ‘Under My Wheels’ but then they delve into the 13th Floor Elevator Roky Erickson track ‘You’re Gonna Miss Me’ again pure garage rock goldust. In a moment of clarity and pardon my ignorance, but, the trippy take of ‘Shape Of Things To Come’ ties it all together in a homer moment because the original is from this fictional band Max Frost and the Troopers taken from the movie ‘Wild In The Streets’. There you go for anyone else (like me) who might be a bit slow on the intake. which only leaves ‘I’ll Be Gone’ and we’re out of here and a thoroughly enjoyable and authentic record is done and dusted and their love of the music shines through and infects anyone within listening distance of the speakers. What a way to draw 2023 to a close than with a really enjoyable Rock n Roll record that makes me warm and happy whilst a tip of the hat to the past and fist bump to the future we should never forget where we’ve come from and thanks to records like this we won’t – to the songwriters they’ve chosen to represent so well and who helped shape this record I thank because The Loveless just became my Christmas party album for 2023. Buy It!

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Author: Dom Daley