The piano is a powerful instrument. In cartoons, pianos are often used as props to crush unsuspecting victims, to predictable yet amusing effect. The instrument also saves The Bloody Lovelies’ debut, Some Truth and a Little Money, from utter mediocrity. The Lovelies are a pop/rock band whose music is driven by a piano, and without it, they’d be just another pop/rock band. As unremarkable as their approach to “roots” rock and “garage” pop is, it’s worthy of some attention and maybe even an occasional listen due to their decision to give the piano top billing in most of their song arrangements.
In a live setting, you would first notice the deep soulful whine of lead singer Randy Wooten’s voice. Then the gritty, exuberant guitar of Lance Konnerth. The lead singer sits behind a piano, his fingers on the keys actually dictating the song’s rhythm – the bassist (Eric Holden) and drummer (Craig Macintyre) following the piano’s lead! Amazing!
And that’s the Bloody Lovelies at their best. On a studio album, with no rousing visuals of Wooten rockin’ behind the piano, no cigarette smoke in the air, no cute bartenders in the corner of your eye, the Lovelies aren’t quite that fun. The piano is nice, refreshing, different, smartly used, etc. But take it away, and you’ve got a lackluster lite rock record with a hesitant eye to the past, unabashed pop overtones, and just not enough depth.
The piano may be a powerful instrument, but I’m not going to hang my taste for a band on it. Really, isn’t that what the guitar is for?
Free Bloody Lovelies MP3s are available via CD Baby.