Album review: Lovvers – ‘OCD Go Go Go Girls’

Raging hardcore fans trying a little too hard for authenticity

Lovvers’ debut proper – the seven-track ‘Think’ only lasts 13 minutes, so that doesn’t count – is barely a record. It’s more an aural time capsule back to Hermosa Beach, California in 1979, when getting fucked up and listening to the Circle Jerks was considered an outsider’s calling; now, of course, the first wave of hardcore is so in vogue that if you watch the superlative documentary American Hardcore it could be confused for a modern-day look at the ‘ironic’ moustache’n’plaid hipster brigade. And in terms of authenticity it ticks the right boxes: recorded entirely to analogue (tick) in Portland (tick) so the vocals are both indecipherable (tick) and dripping with rage (FUCKING TICK), it’s even got a song named after one of the Minutemen (colossal punk rock tick).

But for all its inelegant bluster – ‘Alone With A Girl’ sounds like [a]No Age[/a] jamming Stooges covers and is all the better for its melodic swipes, while ‘Human Hair’ is two and a half brilliant minutes of shouting set to the barest of tunes – ‘OCD Go Go Go Girls’ is, as ‘Think’ was, simply an imperfect heads-up for Lovvers’ live skills. If frontman Shaun Hencher was riding your face and screaming ‘Ad Lib’ down your throat
it’d be ace, but on record it’s somewhat neutered. As with the likes of [a]Times New Viking[/a], their studied sonic shitness grates throughout ‘Four Count’ and ‘Wild Smiles’: The Germs sounded crap because they couldn’t afford any better, but flying from Nottingham to Oregon to come out with a record that sounds like it was taped in a bin next door during an electrical storm smacks of contrivance. They can clearly write decent songs, why hide them?

Ben Patashnik

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Click here to get your copy of Lovvers ‘OCD Go Go Go Girls’ from the Rough Trade shop.