Love is Chemicals, Love is Chemicals

Love is Chemicals, Love is Chemicals

With their self-titled debut album, the members of Love is Chemicals add a battery of art-rock to the arsenal of clean-sounding alternative music revolving around the west coast indie-rock scene. Hailing from San Francisco, the band resembles the slightly subconscious, spacey sound of bands like Death Cab for Cutie and The Postal Service, all the while reaching for a more pleasing, attractive variety of Sonic Youth-inspired rock than their contemporaries, which, like Modest Mouse’s latest releases, includes ambient waves of oft-melodic guitar noise layered over a vocal melody that touches on British shoegazer influences like the Boo Radleys. Singer Natie Grover’s voice falls into the category of soft-rock, somewhere between Ben Gibbard and Radleys singer Sice, and his lyrics are poignantly soothing, with a rusty edge of depression which soaks through the porous sounds of songs like “Friends & Neighbors” and “The Hex” like blood through a sponge.

The part about Love is Chemicals that I really enjoyed was that the intelligent professionalism obvious in the recordings sets the band apart from the myriad of garage bands out there. Production quality and song quality seem synonymous with progressive rock bands these days; these guys can split the balance between musical integrity and pop production.

The down side is that, as far as independent bands are concerned, Love is Chemicals sounds pretty much like everyone else, excessively derivative, unoriginal, and sterile.

(Near Earth Objects -- P.O. Box 77273, San Francisco, CA. 94107;; Love is Chemicals --
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Review by . Review posted Wednesday, August 16th, 2006. Filed under Reviews.

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