Review: Pathological Lovers – Calling All Favours


(Independent)

The Pathological Lovers’ debut album is an hour long propulsive blast of high-energy rock ambition. Jody Richardson with his miracle pipes (voted Best Local Rock Star three years in a row don’tcha know) sounds as passionate and powerful as he ever has, and the production sparkles and snaps as it should. The thing is, though, The Lovers seem to be suffering from a bit of ADD nowadays. Very few songs are played straight. Big left turns, sudden change-ups and complicated wordplay are paramount throughout a lot of the album, and which make it a bit of a challenge to absorb. It would risk being too much to take if it weren’t for the fact that everyone involved is givin’ it their all and playing at the height of their game. But when Jody hits on the vocal hooks and keeps everything as direct as possible, like on songs “Wednesday”, “Change is Good” or the beautiful closer “Parking Lot in Life,” the album really soars.

— Patrick Canning

6 comments

  1. The Scope · April 19, 2011

    Garrrrgh! Apologies to the Lovers for accidentally renaming them Gravity Wave in the print edition. That’s what happens when you re-use an old layout.

  2. Patrick Canning · April 19, 2011

    That’s not a terrible name though. Maybe they should go with that.

  3. boots · April 19, 2011

    Well, other than the fact that Gravity Wave is already a band…

    Anyway, just had to pipe up regarding Patrick’s notion that the PLs are “suffering from ADD” on this album. On the contrary, this album has something for everyone – maybe that’s why I keep hearing it every time I get into someone’s car or show up at a party or walk into Fred’s.

    And not sure what you meant by “very few songs are played straight”. What does “played straight” mean? Straightforward? Simple? Melodies where the verses all sound the same, with a predictable chorus that repeats three times? A song that doesn’t surprise you? Lyrics that don’t catch you off guard or make you think?

    “Big left turns, sudden change-ups and complicated wordplay?” Sounds great to me!

    In a sea of ‘straight’ songs that are so easily digestible and forgettable, the songs on this album stick to your ribs and stay with you.

    Seems to me like maybe Patrick was “suffering from ADD” when he was listening to the album as he was unable to take it all in without writing off more than half the songs as almost “too much to take.”

    Well, serve me up some more because I’d rather too much than too little.

  4. Patrick Canning · April 19, 2011

    I think this is a case where the 150 word limit was more of a hindrance to me then usual. I like this album, I do! But I do have a few issues with it. I have no problems with “Big left turns, sudden change-ups and complicated wordplay” in and of themselves, in fact those words could describe about 95% of the music in my collection. I like fucking weird music is what I’m saying. It’s just that in my opinion The Pathological Lovers are at their best when they are driving a song forward with a strong propulsive groove instead of shifting gears suddenly and randomly. Songs like “Wednesday”, “Arrow of Stones”, “Change is Good” and “Novelty” hit me right in the center of my chest because the guys are just clobbering it home and Jody’s voice is allowed to just soar like motherfucker.
    It’s on a couple of the other songs like “Storm your little” and “Beautiful Girl” that I feel that this urge of their’s to add sudden shifts in tempo, time signatures, syntax etc.. can feel a bit forced and unnatural, like they’re purposefully sabotaging the effectiveness of the hooks. Jody writes some friggin’ great hooks, and I just wanna hear them grabbing at me.
    Overall I think the album is pretty darn wicked. If my review was a bit glib and unclear I apologize but sometimes it’s inevitable, because I suck. Do I have ADD? Most definitely! Sometimes in this reviewing gig I can listen to about 50 new albums a week. And at many, many, many times I have lost ALL patience for anything remotely musical and can plain forget just what it was I liked about music in the first place. Anyway, sorry brevity isn’t my strong suit.

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