NO LOVE - Tri-State Lovers (Spooky Records)
On their Myspace page, The Tri-State Lovers state “No Hits, No Memories”. However, after hearing their eponymous CD from 2007, it’s clear that that this album - and band - was full of talent, promise, and yes memories. The songs take on a rough-hewn edge, sharp playing, and possess an energetic pace.
The CD starts off with a great mid-tempo rocker in “Sweet Wolftones”. The guitar tuning and vocals of Jenson Tjhung recall the quiet – plaintive hush of Thurston Moore. Musically, the track further recalls the SST period of Sonic Youth; similar to their "EVOL" period. The band however has a nice individual touch which they introduce the listener to, and then draw you in. The second track “A Heart That Wanders (part Three)” picks up the pace a bit. Frantic, discordant playing and tense vocals reek of angst. From there, the band picks up momentum on several of the following tracks.
The band’s talents become very evident towards the middle of the CD. The track “Nowhere Kids” has a nice depth provided by bassist Ryan Wells and drummer Daniel Twomey. Guitarist Tjhung spits out shards of feedback drenched, jangly chords laying into the song with his atonal style; all the while screaming “I’m not like the other kids”! On the following track, “Stay the Hell Away From Me”, Tjhung and band ratchet up pure punk rock loathing, making it very clear the band is not in a social mood. “Goddamn Hellride” displays a nice touch of pure Cramps – Birthday Party mania in its efforts, complete with slashing chords and an eruptive pulse.
The final track “Psychotic Meltdown” adds a wild finish to an already heady listening experience.
The Tri-State Lovers: "No Love" is one of those treasures you find in the used CD section; unfortunately, due to the law of economics, based on a lack of exposure/interest, good discs sometimes find their way to this godforsaken hole. However, the beauty in their music, like many other bands, is that for those future collectors who discover the release, and dig their music, they will be asking themselves “why didn’t I get into them sooner”? I know for one, I would love to hear more from this band. Who knows, maybe the band will get back together (they disbanded in 2006) or more recordings will surface. Overall, a very satisfying CD - great work guys!– Arthur S
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