The Love Junkies, Flight Test – Review
Earlier this year I listened to the catchy new EP-teaser single ‘Chemical Motivation’ from Perth-based band The Love Junkies. I have found myself eagerly awaiting the release of new material. This track has been happily lingering in my mind for quite a while with the infectious shift it provides between laid-back, sunny, sweet guitar melodies and the fiery, amped, hard-hitting, punchy, grunge chorus, which transports me right back to my nineties nostalgic teen memories, jumping around to Nirvana. These short sharp bursts of energy have had me hooked.
The EP, Flight Test, to be released on the 4 April, is the follow-up release to their successful 2013 debut studio album Maybelene, and is the first of many to be released on their own label, Black Box Recordings. The EP is a mixture of Love Junkies’ songs and personal tunes and it doesn’t disappoint.
The album’s opening track, simply labelled ‘intro’, is made up of soft, mellow lyrics that are a solo effort put together on the end of a big night. It provides a pleasant musical meditative mantra before it intensifies, forming a smooth and dazzling lead-up, along with a gentle contrast, to the hard-hitting favourite, ‘Chemical Motivation’ which follows.
The album’s third track, ‘Storm Troopers’, also plays with the common swing in intensity throughout The Love Junkies songs, however leans to more of a pop sound, with a summer afternoon vibe throughout, and the exclusion of heavier vocals. This track was originally a demo, which bass player Robbie recorded a year prior to recording the album.
‘Gloria to my Dysphoria’ follows, opening with gorgeous piano melodies and honey tone vocals, before gradating in intensity as the track progresses. This track was a solo piano and vocal piece drummer Lewis wrote prior to entering the studio. The piano directs the majority of the sorrowing rhythm, with drums and guitar being introduced later, intensifying the overall feel.
Finally, the last track ‘Blowing on the Devil’s Strumpet’ kicks in with a much heavier, raw, immediate and grungier emotional release then the last two tracks, linking back to the heavy sound of ‘Chemical Motivation’. Fuzzy guitar sounds, screeching repetitive lyrics screaming “She sucks the life right out of me” has you immersed in the musician’s inspired frustration. The track does tone back briefly halfway to a sound that reminded me of The Dissociatives in the vocals melody, as the drums are cut back briefly, and heavy guitar maintained.
The tracks have been selected well for the album, with a nice balance between heavy and mellow, combining elements of heavy rock and melodic pop. This swing between heavy and fast to slow and mellow appears to be a common element throughout ‘The Love Junkies’ tracks. Although the EP is a mix of Love Junkies songs and solo pieces, the mix works well together as the lighter solo pieces provide a pleasant break from the hard hitting intensity, before being hit hard again.
The EP demonstrates a lot of promise for this band, with all members presenting a great deal of talent, and complementing each other well. I absolutely loved this album and am very excited to see what else is on the horizon for The Love Junkies.
Review by Heather Vousden.