These well-connected Londoners come crawling from beneath the same Goth-tinted rock as Kasms and the improbably-titled An Experiment On A Bird In The Air Pump. They count The Big Pink and Comanechi’s Akiko Matsuura as a friend and fan and love all things (early) Nick Cave.
With a band name possibly drawn from Let Love In, Loverman lurch and bawl with a sleazy sludgecore touch, recalling the lightest jet-black heroics of Clockcleaner or Pissed Jeans. Current calling-card ‘Crypt Tonight’ is a gruff, bass-driven psychotic rocker, as well as commendable exercise in punning. The altogether less pleasant ‘Gasp’ is full of crunching guitar and pained screaming, whereas ‘Shoot The Pig’ reincarnates Cobain’s most tortured howl atop dirgeful chord progression, slow-march bass and riffing flourishes.
Human Nurture (oft listed as Human Nature EP) is slowed funereally on ‘Barb’, which gravels along disinterestedly in a Cohen-esque manner to the odd interjection of reverb. The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster’s ‘Rise Of The Eagles’ is instantly brought to mind on EP closer ‘Miracle’, purposefully underwritten all the while with Bleach-era grunge strains.
Loverman can only be criticised for being unsubtle, but all things considered, that’s hardly criticism, for Human Nature is as raw as it should be, no more, no less.
Sharing a name with arch-angel Gabriel, Master Bruce presents a character that is less Gods shining spirit of truth and more Lucifer the light bearer. Or is he not both? His lyrics tell us the stories and own the dark parts of our society that we wish to deny. He also has a tapeworm of indeterminate length living in his bowel of whom he believes embues him all with of his power. Really.
With comparisons to Nirvana, The Cramps and what would happen if Nick Cave piloted ‘a derailed heavy metal ghost train up Satan’s own fiery bumhole' – ‘Human Nature’ was produced in Pasadena by Ross (Nine Inch Nails) and Barresi (Queens of the Stone Age).
Led by a screaming voice of terror, turmoil and tragedy the band are named in ode to Nick Cave's song ‘Loverman’ where Cave sings of the ‘devil waiting outside your door’. Loverman the band have given voice to that devil and I think it’s only right to let him speak for himself “I’m a prodigy dressed in my mothers’ dress, I am a sex offender...I am your children’s teacher, I am what’s left when God is dead....” Crypt Tonight is the most memorable of the 5 tracks with its’ roaring baritone guitar and contentious lyrics. This is one of those songs that make old people forget irony and think the young have sold their souls to Satan. In contrast the equally roaring but secretly romantic Gasp tells us “my mother always told me never loose your heart, if you believe in love, see in the dark.”
Barbs, slower-paced boot-dragging thirsty horse music has a raw industrial sound and quivering strings. Loverman’s voice, deep enough to vibrate your epiglottis, calls “starve my river and all its’ sources”. Bruce says of his song-writing “I’ll bring my lyrics and some melodies and things in my head, and I show them to the band, and then we all just make it sound like death...We excite ourselves musically by embracing death. Not as an antidote to life but as an intrinsic part of it.”
If it sounds up your street (or should I say bumhole?) then give it a go, there is quality here
Loverman – A Live Review – Prom Night of the Living Dead
Hoxton Bar and Kitchen, 28th September 2009
Written by Katie Weatherall
From out of the late 80s/early 90s shadows, Loverman launch their ‘Human Nature’ EP amongst the Shoreditch elite at Hoxton Bar and Kitchen with all the swagger befitting an underground goth-rock outfit of the noughties.
More often than not, I prefer listening to music in the confines of my kitchen, or soothing my earholes whilst I’m grimacing on public transport, than in a live setting. A bizarre opinion in a music journalist, but it’s the opportunity to form a personal relationship with the music without the many variables that diminish one’s appreciation. No drunks spilling their plastic pints of lager over you, no frustratingly poor sound system, no nightmare journey across town and back (although at least during which I can get intimately acquainted with an as yet untapped album).
With Loverman’s music however, the live experience propagates my enjoyment of it. It’s not necessarily that I like the musicality of it any more, but seeing something amongst its own fans alerts me to its merits. Like the way you get swept up in singing the chants and blaspheming the ref at a football match even though you have no previous interest in the sport yourself. The messianic allure of front man Gabriel Bruce, as he captures his front row disciples in his visceral sermon, is enough to elevate the music to more than just a death-metal Horrors rip-off. Amongst his followers is model-come-DJ Alice Dellal who takes a moment out of her intoxicated stupor to manically toss her famous locks in time to the band’s knell. As the debonair front man flicks his bleach dyed hair, the girls around him almost physically edge forward in the hope of catching a droplet of perspiration.
It is not just the band’s name and singer’s voice that nod to dark father Nick Cave. Before this band, the London four-piece have experienced their fair share of the scene respectively and have now found their peace with a deathlier sound. It does strike me though that even though the audience may be on trend in their 90s throw-back Goth-grunge attire, they look about as satanic as my nan and far more likely to stroke a kitten than bite its head off like a true Goth should… no?
Tonight, the tracks from their EP swill around the room, lapping up the ominous noise and repugnant imagery, like Beetlejuice sipping a straw through Kurt Cobain’s name. Getting the death theme enough? Expect the cult of Loverman to gain a momentum of deathly proportions throughout 2010.
Check out a clip of Bruce crooning the audience like it were Prom Night:
Written by Katie Weatherall on Wednesday October 7th, 2009 5:24 pm