CHESTER KAMEN AND THE LOVES – Americanized

CHESTER KAMEN & THE LOVES - Americanized

Stoney Records [Release date 03.07.20]

In another era Chester Kamen and the Loves might have shifted a ton of copies. They somehow evoke the days of New Wave/Punk, coming across like early Talking Heads, like the Buzzcocks, Eddie and the Hot Rods, or even if you can imagine the Stranglers without a keyboard player, or the Blockheads.

They don’t have the drive of a Green Day, but they bring all the ingredients to the party. They play with energy, catchy tunes, snappy lyrics – you know the type.

Kamen also brings a top drawer pedigree through years of playing with Roger Waters, Dave Gilmour, Paul McCartney and Madonna to name a few.

The band format is a straightforward two guitars, vocals, bass and drums. Drummer Steve Monti has his own pedigree with Gary Numan, Jesus and Mary Chain and Wilko Johnson among others. Michael Cahill is on lead vocals (a la Ian Dury/Mark Knopfler) and guitars with Sam Harley on bass.

“Americanized” is their fifth album. See what they did with the title? They put a “z” in to hmm er “Americanise” it !

“King of What Remains” gets the album off to a strong start – then comes the title track and single, which really does the trick. “I thought we were only getting high, but we were getting Americanized”. This one grows with every play. Happily rhyming “4th of July” with “Pie in the Sky”.

“Almost Done” brings a slightly slower groove which takes off half way through and is a good one with some shades of Pink Floyd hidden in the chord sequences and vocal delivery.

The band see this album as reflecting the “changing world that we all live in” but I see it as evoking happy echoes from a bunch of musical influences.

If you’re looking for a piece of lockdown cheer you could do worse than give this a spin (in old speak). ****

Review by Iain McGonigal


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