GROOVY KIND OF LOVE

GROOVY KIND OF LOVE

Trading in your heavy-edged past for a happy, poppy (lucrative) future seems to be all the rage nowadays: Chad Gilbert  leaving Shai Hulud for New Found Glory, Daryl Palumbo putting Glassjaw aside for Head Automatica; and now Dan Keyes, leaving post-hardcore band Recover to pursue his Young Love.  The important thing to bear in mind is that one’s personal inspiration is a mitigating factor in making the change.  After listening to Too Young to Fight It, I’m not certain of Keyes’ conviction.  Sure, teen girls around the country are going to be wetting their pants over this boy’s roguish good looks, youthful voice, and suggestive content, but… 

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Keyes begins the album with his strongest song, “Discotech,” which I hope for the love of god is some kind of clever intentional misspelling.  Discothèques are not of this young man’s genre, so he shouldn’t be singing about them.  But, he does anyway, so whatever.  Rather than using pleasing falsettos on the “You can’t fake it/ you can’t take it” (or whatever the hell he’s saying) part, he attempts to belt it full-voice, which leaves the song sounding very strained and in need of some good auto-tuning.  Slow song “Tell Me” is an interesting shift from the rest of the CD…interesting in the-what the hell is this doing here??-kind of way.

Now, I’m not going to say that this whole album is bad.  It’s actually catchy and makes me happy in an awkward kind of way, reminiscent of when I was in high school and couldn’t talk to girls, but stayed content knowing that they were dumb whores and I was fine with or without them. 

Of course, I’m not really one to talk, not being a huge superstar with albums and touring under my belt (or am I?), and I’m not signed to Island Records—the News Corp. of record labels; but I do feel validated in my ambiguity over this CD.  While there are catchy riffs, well placed hits and samples, uplifting beats, and harmonious vocals, everything does seem a bit contrived and far-reaching. 

But, that’s what I’ve come to expect from every band I hear nowadays; so, by those standards, this makes Young Love’s record a decent musical endeavor.  Let’s just leave it at “This is an admirable first step,” and move on with our lives.
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Mark Johnston, a native Californian, has travelled the world with various circuses, sideshows, and arena rock tours. As a musical monkey he has delighted fans the world over. Upon his return, he has since founded the Atomsmashers Publishing Company, written 2 books in the company’s Warm Horchata series, created a weekly comic strip based around LA’s more “colorful” characters, written reviews, articles, and rantings under various pseudonyms; this has since culminated in Johnston being named Captain Fabulous by the Superhero Association of America.

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