As a veteran music journalist, I have to tip my hat to others who do this kind of work and come up with phrasing whose brilliance inspires me. While listening to and having my ears popped open by Brooklyn based blistering soul-fuzz rockers Lovehoney’s new three track EP Dig This! (which I do!), I encountered this description of the band by Polly Glass of Classic Rock Magazine: “If the Jimi Hendrix Experience was fronted by a woman and tuned into the Black Keys era, it might have sounded like this!”
That sort of vintage yet timeless era-bridging and scorching free-for-all R&B slanted rock energy is at the core of the band featuring Tommy White’s incendiary electric guitar and lead singer Alysia Quinones, whose powerhouse voice (sometimes toned down to showcase an ethereal, little girl quality) is by design over-reverbed to blend in with the Stripey-Hendrixy guitar craziness. The bottom line is that, in less than 10 minutes, Lovehoney makes more of an aural-emotional impact than most bands can generate in an hour.
Like in the early days of rock, the four piece band – also featuring drummer Tom Gehlhaus and bassist Matt Saleh – accomplishes everything they need to in just over two minutes on the in your face from the get go “Open Door.” Because Quinones voice bleeds into the mix a bit, we may not understand every word, but we deeply feel the power of her emotion.
“Want It” starts off in a more bluesy-meditative flow, allowing her to invite/seduce us into the experience. Once we’re hooked in, we’re blasted off into a song whose frustration and anger emerges from her defiance combined with the riff-heavy boom of the band. Balancing all the musical intensity is “Little Momma,” a soulful ballad that showcases the band’s more subtly hypnotic possibilities and the power that comes from just the right amount of restraint. Because of the way we consume music these days, many indie bands make the cover image an afterthought.
The cover of their first EP Devil Woman featured Quinones’ mom as a young woman, while Dig This! (their fourth overall) features a grainy photo of White’ well-dressed (black suit and hat) dad as a young man This image doesn’t tell you a lot about the intense musical experience that awaits, but beautifully reflects the band’s desire to pay homage to, as the guitarist says, “a time when people wanted to listen to what someone had to say. We have our parents on album covers because we are a reflection of them and though we didn’t live in the 60s or 70s our music and style try to capture that moment.” And it goes without saying that it’s truly one worth the capture.