Old school rock and roll has been put on the back-burner over unnecessarily over processed synth-pop, pop folk standards, and disco trap beats in mainstream music. It is a shame to witness the grand pedestal of modern rock being held up by the drummer of Nirvana, a band that became notorious in releasing a dubstep inspired rock epic called The 2nd law: Unsustainable’ (this is Europe’s finest, Muse), and lastly, the disintegration of Oasis’ Gallagher Brothers in two totally forgettable musical projects.
But the rock throwback band, Locket Love, is not letting go of contemporary rock without a fight. The group has some punk rock styles alongside traditional rock and roll instrumentation and emo rock energy a la Mineral or Sunny Day Real Estate. The songs open with a big guitar sound, and then paddle away with a rather straightforward verse. But it is the chorus’ that are well-composed and nice to revisit again and again. Locket Love is safe, but safe is better than committing to an experiment gone horribly wrong. Safe is shareable. Safe is ‘buying the physical album.’ Safe is feeling nostalgic towards a sound largely abandoned by the majority of peers.
Locket Love deploys all this on their latest release, Daydream in Motion. The EP is five tightly wrapped tracks, each one seamlessly settling into the next in a nice little collection of tonally consistent rock standards.
‘Sold’ ignites with a histrionic sweeping guitar lick, but the band plows away at the lick even further, making it larger and more grandiose as the song progresses. It’s a fun little song that remains the highlight of the day. Bands often attempt a big epic closer in an effort to impress or leave a mark. The EP’s closing track, “Windcrest Cove”, can fit anywhere on the release. It has a memorable hooky chorus and that big guitar intro. It is just a perfect closer- not attempting to break the formula but offering exactly what fans deserve.
Remember the old clichés? Gang vocals in the bridge? The ‘everyone go nuts and bang on the instruments’ that close the recording? The fast-paced frenetic guitar work that opens the song and immediately falls into a ‘strumstrumstrum’ verse? These are all standards of 90’s emo rock, and it makes Locket Love the perfect throwback to early Foo Fighters or even Clarity-era Jimmy Eat World. The band sounds like a spiced up The Get Up Kids. This is especially so on the album’s fourth track, “T Sigs” it has all the hallmarks of late 90’s rock, without the bloated nonsense we heard on the big-budget highly produced singles. Basically, this is more Gin Blossoms than Live.
There is something fascinating about a band embracing emo rock revivalism where even the genre’s greatest enthusiasts and titans are adding plenty of synth, moody ambiances, and banjos to the mix. None of this is present in Daydream in Motion– thankfully.
This quick-witted EP is a nice change of pace, and perhaps we can see more bands attempt a stripped down sound without being unnervingly melodramatic. There is enough nostalgic charm here to make the album listenable far more than once or twice. They do not reinvent the wheel, but it has been such a long time since anyone with talent has jumped in the driver’s seat; it is truly a reinvention of rediscovery.
FOR MORE INFORMATION: LOCKET LOVE’S OFFICIAL WEBSITE
Ryan Merkel is a cool writer guy and contributor all over the internet, from blogs on music to magazines about music to sites about playing music. He is currently founder of SunState Investing and is head editor of the music entertainment magazine, CultureTease. He has written two novels, and is currently working on a third full-length novel, surprisingly, not about music. His novel “Splatter the Noise” earned accolades for independent publishing. Be sure to check out: www.sunstateinvesting.com
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