Lovechild have self belief and ambition. They've sent their stuff from Belfast to Leeds, and they're determined to get a wider audience. You can't argue with that. It's flattering to us, too, that so many people are getting to know about LMS and want to take a chance on us giving them a thumbs up to use in their next big wave of self-promotion. It certainly beats hanging about waiting from some record comapany cheese to waft their coke addled deal at you.
The CD starts off on a really false note though. A really lame guitar break that gradually draws in a ploddy drum and bass thing and a bog standard "tune" from the vocalist. Cut to track two a bit sharpish.
Much more interesting, jangly guitar and wandering bass and some keyboard stuff that threatens a good tune. The tune doesn't fully materialise but it isn't bad. There's a neat three note counter melody on a guitar. But "heaven only knows where it ends" gives enough of an example of the lyrical quality to let you know that it isn't life changing stuff.
More sub-rock guitar menace splutters into track three. A huge blues voice on the edge of madnesss would redeem it. But we have a fairly gentle bit of straightforward singing bringing it right down. "Hope You HAve a Lovely Day" at four gets bigger and brighter right at the double guitar intro, but descends again with a whiny song ... "something in the air, it feels like heaven ... now is the time for our enjoyment" And so on. There's some extended guitar soloing and a whiff of Noel Gallaher melodic invention. But not that much.
Five is banging on the wide open doors of AC/DC for a few bars, but stumbles right through into the brawling heart of the tune and collapses in a heap without much idea of what to do next. And bugger me if there isn't a "secret track" of acoustic guitar and voice. I'm afraid it is not ready to be out in public yet. Much work needed on basic song writing technique.
At some point the fantasy has to poked with a sharp stick. Lovechild make much of their local radio endorsements: "a message to the nation" says Stephen Woods of Cool FM; "If that doesn't make up and coming bands want to get and do something - nothing will" trilled Linda Cullen of Downtown Radio. I think back to tonight's Raw Talent on BBC North and have the same uneasy feeling that someone isn't playing fair with this level of music. Leeds and Belfast have many excellent and experienced artists who never get broadcast. But rank beginners and plodders get extravagant praise out of all proportion to their achievements.
It doesn't make sense. Local media should be out and about scouring the town for the best there is, not waiting for the naive and the unsteady to turn up with their CD-Rs. I don't blame Lovechild for any of that. But someone somewhere is consistently avoiding the truth of how far such bands have to grow, and it isn't fair on anybody.