Love Games – Nothing Ever Moves You (2017)

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Debut full length from indie rock outfit that owes a lot to the Cure and Balance and Composure..but seriously..how could that ever be a bad thing?

If you love chorus pedals and bright chimey guitars then this is for you. Softly delivered lines sung with just a tinge of sadness? Then YES YES YES this is a winner.

I instantly appreciate the space that has been given to the mix and material on this release as most bands in this ‘style’ would aim for a more full and thick approach (you know gain, fuzz/walls of reverb and delays etc). Here.. nup..it’s all laid bare and resembles a very crisp and honest reflection of a band.

This is like a refreshing glass of cool water you grab after sweating it out with the hard hitters. ‘Nothing Ever Moves You’ is less of an immediate album and more of a slowburner and for that you really have to be in the right mood.

Opening track ‘Sulk’ is a great set up for what is to follow, the punchy drums carrying all the energy whilst the guitars and vocals just space out in reverby/modulated goodness. This isn’t shoegaze, not my a mile..but if the band ever got caught on a moment and lingered on a chord…it could be. What keeps it interesting is the way the song writing is full of movement, changes and underplayed riffs and little lead lines.

 

‘Raincoat’ (album single) shines as a more driving indie gem and the following track Daydream is every bit as chilled and dreamy as you’d hope. Even more so is the ambient/interlude and title track ‘Nothing Ever Moves You’ that seems to separate two halves of the album. It’s gorgeous and really well placed amongst the songs as it kind of bulds the melody that launches from/into the next song.

‘Mend’ and ‘Moon’ which follow the charge into the second half feel like they are much more engaged and up tempo. ‘Mellow’ is the slower but equally emotionally intense track that you’d expect a heap of huge guitars and heavier bag of tricks..but as with everything before it, the sound is essentially that same one they begin with.

Id like to mention there’s more than a few deftones’ ish moments with the softness and subtle drama employed here. In the same fashion that the Cure and Depeche Mode influenced Chino Moreno’s hushed and sullen crooning.. so too Love Games have dropped the same throwback into play. I love it. I do imagine it being an absolutely stellar track if the gain was dialled up a notch but that wouldn’t be in keeping with the albums precedent.

*Disclaimer: I cant confirm that they actually intended to conjure up Depeche Mode/Cure but none the less I hear it.

An album this consistent does not come around often, many artists will try various tricks, subtle style shifts and musical shades of light and dark. Not here. The band finish exactly how they start. From ‘Sulk’ all the way through to the album closer ‘Run’ it sounds like the same band, the same sounds, mix, pedals and the same approach. For me.. yeh that worked. I genuinely liked it. What would have absolutely smashed this into album of the year category would be if the band took a few risks and pushed the peaks further with some thick/distorted guitars. Maybe at a few key moments the lack of grit and dirt held it back too much. Restraint is great, but only to a point. I felt like there was too much reservation. Some more aggression or passion in the music…that’s all it was missing for me to mark this as a top 10 for 2018.

As it is tho, it’s a bloody great ride and a very notable entry into this years already crammed list of outstanding local releases. If I were them, id be proud.

https://www.facebook.com/lovegamesau/

https://lovegames.bandcamp.com/album/nothing-ever-moves-you

 

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