It seems that Dirk Hemsath of Doghouse Records has become “the Golden One” — this guy has been putting out some of the most incredible releases in the world of punk rock for over six years, beginning with The Get Up Kids’ Four Minute Mile. While making Doghouse the label for emo-dom, he’s also put out some startling non-emo albums, including the All American Rejects’ record, and Lovesick by Celebrity. This Celebrity album is probably one of the single best releases ever to come from Doghouse.
Celebrity combines the moodiness and vocal delivery of The Cure, the winding and swirling guitars and drums of Radiohead and a dash of U2’s darker material (“Gone,” for example) to make a truly incredible sound. I would have to say that Celebrity sounds most like what The Cure might have sounded like had Robert Smith been born 20 years later and just now started making records. For Cure fans, like me, this is a fantastic treat, as The Cure release an album only every four years or so. Many listeners will also draw similarities between these guys and the recently broken up Elliot, particularly their final masterpiece, Song in The Air.
Lead vocalist Lance Black has a warm, thick voice that sounds like a mix between the singer for Starflyer 59 and Thom Yorke of Radiohead. His lyrics are downtrodden in delivery, and the content is just as longing and lost. His voice is unique enough to be instantly recognizable, which will help Celebrity establish themselves.
“Disconnected” is probably the best song on the album. It has a very Elliot feel, although it rocks a lot harder. The vocals are painfully delivered in an almost cried manner, with a gorgeous vocal melody atop pounding drums and distorted guitars. The mood of the song is quite dark and black, and reeks of bitterness. “Dead Superstars” sounds very much like Pornography or slowed down Kiss Me…-era Cure, in that the guitars are completely drenched in feedback and distortion, the drums pound furiously and Lance Black wails and moans into the microphone while his voice gets soaked in reverb and delay.
This record is simply fantastic. I can see this one being considered a classic five years from now, if they happen to land a major label record deal. The thing is, The Cure and Radiohead got famous on pop songs, initially, and then started to make the groundbreaking experiments for which they are famous. Celebrity is already in the experimental phase, and I’m not sure if any of the songs on Lovesick are “happy” enough to garner major radio attention. I really hope this record does well, as I can’t wait to see what this band will do in the future. This is one of the five best albums of the year, and it’s easily the single most creative record of 2003.
Doghouse Records: http://www.doghouserecords.com/