Friday, September 20, 2013

FDF Volume 4 Issue 320 - Love and Rockets - Love and Rockets.

Album – Love and Rockets
Artist – Love and Rockets
Key Players – Daniel Ash – vocals, guitar. David J – Bass, harmonica, backing vocals. Kevin Haskins – drums,vibes, keyboards.

Produced By – Love and Rockets and John Fryer

Release Date – May 1989

Overview - This is the fourth full length album from the England based “Love and Rockets”. Formed from the 80's goth band “Bauhaus” (see the FDF on "Press Eject and Give me the Tape")
Love and Rockets didn't have huge presence on the US Charts until this record came out. The band landed on on the Billboard charts with “So Alive” and it peaked at #3. The band, rather than quickly releasing a follow up found David J and Daniel Ash releasing solo records. They'd release 3 more albums after this before disbanding (for good?) in 2009.

FDF Comments (aka the songs) – Just a short ten song 41 minute album here. The album opens with a heavily fuzzed out (you will hear this a lot) "**** (Jungle Law)". Pretty much everything is fuzzed out on this barring a clean guitar line from David J, but the drums are heavy and right on point. "No Big Deal" (live version) follows with heavy feedback returning. The band turns this in to the melody of the song, not just a wall of noise. Ash has a deep baritone voice that has a bit of a whine to it that is very haunting. The Haskins drum line focuses heavy on a down beat, which sounds like he is striking a metal plate or bowl. David J finds a solid and swooping bass line throughout. There is an extended harmonica section at the end that changes the listener experience. “The Purest Blue" has a long, and quiet build up. It seems to have strings, or a distant horn before a few lone keyboard notes are played. It continues to swirl around your head (especially with headphones on) before there is some speaking, it lulls you into a trance almost and then you are hit hard as "Motorcycle" rumbles forward. This is the Love and Rockets most fans like, the really heavy fuzzy stuff. It stands on it's own. "I Feel Speed" is a calmer and mellower tune. David J plays a swooping bass line as the band sings about the motorcycle setting them free. The guitar cords are lightly played and there are no drums. "Bound for Hell" has Ash alone before the drums and harmonica pick up. This is a traditional tune that the band keeps a bit true to the original, but also adds their spin to it. The David J walking bass line is right up in the mix and Haskins keeps it all in check. "The Teardrop Collector" is another quieter song, slow with finger snaps and just a backing keyboard drone before David J adds in some bass and the light guitar solo is a new sounds for the record, but it really doesn't get wildly interesting.  "So Alive" follows and it is a wild departure for the band, the female backing vocals are the first thing that long time fans notice. It is an odd “hit”single as there is not a super catchy riff or a big time sing along chorus, I'll say it is the drum beat.  "Rock and Roll Babylon" is an acoustic guitar led track and the band employs a full string section to really add layers. The album concludes with "No Words No More" another acoustic track with deep bass line (almost sounds like an upright) and the easy vocals from Ash. It is drum free leaving Haskins to add in some shakers and the distant harmonica is a nice touch.

Where are they now? - The band broke up in 2007, reformed and then called it quits in 2009. Ash stated at the time that they had played together long enough.

FDF Overall Take – There are some really great moments here. The band was well known for heavily distorted and dark songs, and they are here. They are also know for acoustic driven guitar tunes (No New Tale To Tell in the past) come to mind. The band mixes it up a lot with their sound and direction. You can't go wrong with this, but fans might also be more comfortable with a best of collection.


Kevin Haskins official site
“Find out More”, Follow em and Buy

Disclaimer – I am just a music fan. Feel free to comment about something that may be written incorrectly about the band/members etc. I strive to have a fun and enjoyable site. This site used to post mp3s but ran in to many issues. The audio clips provided are usually from YouTube. No copy write infringement is intended. Please alert me if something should be pulled. Finally, support the artist featured, or your favorite artist by purchasing their music, seeing their shows if possible and saying hi. They need your support.


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