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CD Review: Lovesick 

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(2014, Independent)

This debut from Kingston's Lovesick deftly assimilates the Americana of the Catskills and Mississippi Delta into a greasy, fuzzed-out garage-punk mosaic of lasciviousness, longing, murder, and redemption. The trio of Mike Amari (guitar/vocals), Adam Armstrong (drums), and Eli Walker (bass) has an aesthetic drawn equally from the early 2000s garage-punk revival and the hootenanny of the late Levon Helm's beloved Midnight Rambles. The opening salvo, "Discover," is a heaving, stuttering instrumental with several violent tempo changes amid the wonderfully chaotic maelstrom of sound. "I'm a Monster" is a track the band aptly describes as a "Roseanne Cash-meets-Violent Femmes, twangy sort of thing." The addition of a demented "96 Tears"-like carnival organ really puts it over the top, with Amari growling out snotty punk couplets like "Baby I'm a loser / Ah, baby I'm a loser / but that don't mean I'm not gonna win." 
"Atlantic City Girls" spins the harrowing tale of a serial killer loose on the boardwalk, told from the murderer's perspective. Armstrong's crashing cymbals and Walker's laconic, distorted bass line are the perfect counterpoint to Amari's bloodthirsty entreaties. It's the perfect lead-in to the six-song EP's finale, the gospel-inflected "Walter." Simple, finger-picked notes and pleading slide tell the story of a man slipping off this mortal coil. The pastoral feeling of his final journey is punctuated by some massive, Zeppelin-esque, heavy blues riffage. This little snake charmer of record is just a taster for an upcoming full-length platter and a tour.

Speaking of...

  • Jeremy Schwartz reviews Lovesick's self-titled debut EP.


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