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18-08-2015, 11:46

The Connection - Labor Of Love (2015) [Digital Release]

Category: Music

The Connection - Labor Of Love (2015) [Digital Release]
The Connection - Labor Of Love (2015)
FLAC+CUE or MP3 CBR 320 | Covers | 231 or 72 MB
Digital Download | Garage Rock / Power Pop

They've been applauded by rock pioneer, visionary, & former Rolling Stones manager &rew Loog Oldham. They're championed by "E Street" legend Little Steven Van Z&t & heard just about every day on the Underground Garage. Now The Connection on the roll again with their new album. - "Labor Of Love" is the soundtrack to the love child of Nick Lowe, Flamin' Groovies, the Kinks, & Graham Parker stumbling through the Bowery with the swagger of Exile-era Rolling Stones; finishing off the night by passing out on the Ramones' studio floor.
"The b& plays Power Pop with classic Garage Rock undertones, making them sound like, well, a garage rock version of The Undertones. But not just any str& of Garage Rock, The Connection are more akin to the straight, early Rock & Roll influenced side of the genre. To give you an idea, The Connection is a lot more clean cut & melodic like, say, Wayne Fontana & The Mindbenders. They lack the grit & intensity of The St&ells or The Sonics & they're a thous& miles away from the overall weirdness of ? & the Mysterians. They've set their sights on clear cut pop hooks & riffs that lift from vintage Chuck Berry. This is a b& who wear their influences on their sleeves.

Producer (& member of the Dictators) &y Shernoff surrounds the b& with a clean, smooth sound, with all the instruments ringing as clear as day. This was obviously the right move, as placing unwarranted fuzz or distortion over these songs would sound severely off putting. It'd be like seeing Richie Cunningham in The Fonz's leather jacket. Other collaborators include ex-Screeching Weasel member Dan Vapid, who delivers backup vocals on "Don't Come Back." Though, to be honest, if you don't know he's there, his vocals are not remotely noticeable.

The b& doesn't mix things up too much, making it obvious that they belong to the school of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." Most of the songs on this album feature uptempo, bouncy instrumentals & chipper vocals. "Let the Jukebox Take Me" & "Treat You So Bad" are the only tracks here that really break from the mold in any way. With a countrified ballad posture, the former track saunters along & absorbs some ragtime influenced piano stabs before it reaches it's muddled end. "Treat You So Bad" is a New Wave influenced rocker no doubt taking a cue from Elvis Costello's first couple of albums. Neither of these songs make much of an impact, however, as they mostly wallow in their influences & fail to catch your ear with a bl& chorus.

Just as the album title says, this is clearly a labor of love & the b& members are undoubtedly haveing fun playing the music. The album is bolstered by a h&ful of genuinely catchy tracks ("Circles" & "Pathetic Kind of Man" come to mind), but there is some filler to be found here. The 30 minute album is too short to become tiresome, but The Connection should have definitely put a little more labor into this labor of love anyway.

-- Review by fretty, taken from www.punknews.org



01. Labor Of Love
02. So Easy
03. Circles
04. You Ain't Special
05. Pathetic Kind Of Man
06. Don't Come Back
07. Let The Jukebox Take Me
08. Red, White & Blue
09. Treat You So Bad
10. Good Things
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