Regular readers will know that we like Lovely Wife and have written about their live EP, Live & Contrived, that was released earlier this year. It was great to have the essence of their live performances captured, as in the studio their sound isn’t the easiest to re-create. Problem Rock has certainly tackled that problem head on with a Sledgesaw (Dead Rising reference right there).
First things first, a potential issue that tends to come hand in hand with a lot of the music I write about, this isn’t the most listenable of records out there, mainly for its production values. That said, if that is something that puts you off certain bands and records, then this really isn’t the kind of music that you would be listening to. Lovely Wife are one glorified noise rock band that plays ignorant to any norms. Less “songs” than strung out pieces of sludge rock with extra distortion, extra feedback and extra noise-factor.
“Potential issues” aside, I couldn’t imagine how even the best producer out there could put Lovely Wife through cleaner production without losing that atmosphere and character about their sound. Although the levels sound very harsh, they put your devices through the same beating as their own amps and any PA system they will have ever performed with.
Problem Rock consists of three lovely slices amounting to over 25 minutes. The structure of each track is abstract to say the least, consisting of strung out flows of riffs and beats accompanied by discernible screaming from both guitar and man. The tracks are noticeably different, although all sticking to a consistent sound throughout. If you zone out into the music, there is plenty of satisfying guitar work to pick out here, and will help accompany you through, say, a long journey or half an hour in the office. Problem Rock also earns its way into that pile of “When you need to drown out the neighbours’ shitty dance bollocks in the Summer”.
If you crave something loud, brash, different, or actually reminiscent of those deafening basement gigs we all love so much, look no further than this offering (well, maybe a little further, because we have reviewed some other albums you would love).
Jake Hancke – 10/08/2017
Problem Rock is available to pre-order now on Cassette or digitally via Cruel Nature Records.