Music Reviews

Love Life

The Rose He Lied By

Troubleman Unlimited

Sad as it may be, most post-punk bands of the last decade who•ve displayed visionary, forward-thinking panache (The VSS, Hoover, and Swing Kids quickly come to mind) usually break up well before they•ve even had the chance to spread their wings, forlornly leaving behind an album and a few singles at best. The hopeful fact of the matter, however, is that members of such bands often go on to nearly fruitful careers in the wake of their respective bands• demises, at least making things as interesting had said bands stuck around longer, at least perpetuating a multi-tentacled lineage definitely worth following. Such is the case with Love Life and their The Rose He Lied By debut. Featuring the considerable talents of vocalist Katrina Ford (ex- of Jaks, who released a mere two recordings, the Hollywood Bloodcapsules LP and the •Carnation/Damn Bloodsucker• single, both of which are highly recommended) and bassist Anthony Malat (ex- of the equally great and Armageddon-ready the Great Unraveling and Universal Order of Armageddon), Love Life are more or less the sum of their parts: essentially, the Jaks• disembodied, disorienting horror-funk rubbing bloody elbows with the dirty, doom-addled dirge-with-a-pulse of Malat•s former employers. And, yeah, Ford•s still got a major Birthday Party/early Bad Seeds fixation, both vocally and lyrically, as her whiskey-drenched yowlings bleakly speak of heartbreak and pity, love-sickness and life-sickness, fear and (self-) loathing, but when occasionally swathed in brass (courtesy of tenor saxophonist Tim Hoenig and trombonist Tim Doscher, both of the late, great ska band, The Smooths • thanks, Julio!), the intensity and tension created by the quartet is so overwhelmingly narcotic that the obviousness of their influences is a moot point. Sometimes laconic, sometimes acidic, and often both simultaneously, The Rose He Lied By provides ample proof that post-punk is alive and well even when its life support keeps meeting the grave • recommended for horror lovers who•ve got no love for metal.

Troubleman Unlimited, 16 Willow St., Bayonne, NJ 07002


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