The Loved Ones ‘Bridge’ Genres
Since their inception in 2003, the City of Brotherly Love’s the Loved Ones have blended two genres, delivering furious punk and catchy bar-rock in snappy sneers and beer soaked, piercing riffage, while hewing just slightly closer to Mohawk rather than saloon ethos. But with the behind-the-scenes cast of Build & Burn — the band’s latest effort set to drop Feb. 5 via Fatwreck Chords — their once murky niche comes into focus thanks to production from punk stalwarts Pete Steinkopf and Bryan Keinlen of the Bouncing Souls, and contributions from booze rock’s finest, the Hold Steady’s Franz Nicolay and Tad Kubler; and album track “The Bridge,” both literally and figuratively, couldn’t better exemplify the unification.
With an intro heavy on gritty, Americana guitars, “The Bridge” kicks into full gear with a bouncing cadence and shouting backing vocals. Soon frontman Dave Hause’s choppy scoffs fall into a sleek Top 40 chorus before returning to their roots of angsty chants, embedded in fist pumping instrumentation. But the Loved Ones’ newfound sonic exploration is truly found in the fine print; melodic keys ring below the tattooed and studded surface, and the riffs, while indelible to the Hot Topic crowd, also speak to a fan base that spends more time in the local bar than the local mall. WILLIAM GOODMAN