No Loves – ‘Plum Crazy’.
Nashville Punks No Loves are a band that have been in the game in varying forms for quite some time. The band formed in St. Petersburg, Florida in 1996 and since then have chopped and changed both membership and output more than just a few times. However, that is history as the band’s most recent record Plum Crazy is tries its utmost to bring all these wayward chords together.
Plum Crazy attempts the band’s obvious and backbone penchant for bluesy-Rock n’ Roll into line with their up-tempo classically toned Punk-Rock. This is a band for those craving that Rock n’Roll flare and Blues Rock guitars over-clocked, super-charged and blaring down the road.
Throughout album you can’t help but hear the influence from days further down the Punk timeline with early Hardcore and all the melodic variants it eventually led to with bands such as Black Flag, Bad Religion, Poison Idea and even Pennywise coming to mind.
‘Hawg Ride’ teases you with southern Hard Rock with crooning Blues guitars before a Hardcore-Motorhead crossover and then onto ‘Mopar Man’, itself teasing but in different way with its rhythmic Suffer-esque rhythms and Rock n’ Roll leads. No Loves are keen to find that balance between melody and grit as this album unfolds.
‘I Can’t Sleep’ furthers this desire. Punk music is often hard and aggressive, uninviting and born from rage and personal struggle. These things often act as a catalyst and the inspiration for the records and songs that assist humanity at dealing with their day to day via the day to day but that doesn’t mean an inviting melody and or sing-a-long or two can’t be thrown in the mix, especially if they sound like the Ramones.
Plum Crazy is blatant and honest, it has the expected deep, personal and cathartic tracks and also the reckless tongue & cheek often found within North American Punk-Rock and classic Rock n’Roll. It has the fist-in-the-air community tracks and simply songs for songs sake and it works.
‘Renegade Rock’ is a highlight and ‘Pick Up Line’ is entertaining. Mid-album, snotty 90’s Pop-Punk-esque stylistics add another facet to Plum Crazy and No Loves’ hybrid sound in ‘Long Way To Go’. It is also at this point that fans of Cow-Punk vets Social Distortion will begin to get a further feel for the harsh vocals and melancholic guitar work as the band’s best and most natural becomes obvious in ‘Without A Sound’.
The eponymous ‘Plum Crazy’ fraternises equally with the band’s scrappy Rock n’ Roll as much as those Ramones and 90’s melodies and it more than suits No Loves really quite well.
No Loves are easily applicable to fans of more than one era of guitar music and particularly Punk within that. Plum Crazy although a solid effort, really comes into itself in its latter half where the band’s comfortability is at its peak.
If you were to cross Rancid with the aforementioned Social Distortion then you would likely end up with the final track, ‘Mud On The Tires’ which I will leave you to discover yourselves.
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