I’m not all that sold on Lovvers as a band. Being knowingly obscurantist always irks me a bit. I gave out to anyone who would listen for about three weeks about how Times New Viking were just pretentiously messing with perfectly good Yo La Tengo-esque songs for the sake of being arty. I’m not that into Husker Du, not enough to Google their name to copy and paste it with umlauts into this article anyway. My pop-sense tingles when bands don’t let you hear as much of their song as they hear in their head.
But after the gig, I can see why their album (or EP, if you don’t consider seven songs in less than fifteen minutes to qualify for album status) sounds like it does. They’re trying to reflect an attitude and an energy from the live show.
And the live show is good. It takes all the cues from the hardcore end of things. The guitarist, bassist and drummer play as loud and as hard as they can for the entire set. Everyone sweats. And the singer sings from the crowd. Hardcore singers, as much as anyone into hardcore that I know would probably punch me for saying this, are as much cheerleaders as they are musicians. Their job is to break down the arms-folded barrier between the crowd and the band. They go, they bump into people, if anyone knows the words they get equal access to the microphone.
Lovvers did it to a tee. Their arty, garage rock buzz is what saves them from being a crappy hardcore band, but their hardcore buzz is what makes them fun. The guy flopped into people. I pushed him a few times, he pulled up my t-shirt and put his sweaty face on my shoulder. It was horrible. They played a load of songs in a short space of time. ‘No Romantics’ and ‘No Fun’ were their best songs.
But they weren’t really playing songs, the way I see it. They were just transferring energy. That’s their milieu, I think. It definitely comes across better with a sweaty man in your face than it does with just an album the length of an Our Brother The Native song at your disposal. It was fun, and I think the crowd felt a little more involved than they normally would. All the hallmarks of a good hardcore show were present, and it was all the better for it.