From the raw power end of the New Zealand music spectrum, Loves Ugly Children come crashing the party with a new album in hand. And while they've been steadily building a reputation as a band with a unique brand of rock'n'punk sensibilities on previous album Cakehole and the outstanding Suck EP, Showered In Gold delivers Loves Ugly Children to the kids in full glorious, action-packed effect.
The trio of Simon Ugly (guitar), Floss (bass) and Jason Young (drums) unleash their best set of songs here and, with the aid of producer Matthew Heine, they display the ability to shape Showered In Gold into something special.
The record buzzes with the passion and feeling that has made them a thundering (and very loud!) fixture on the NZ live circuit and taken Loves Ugly Children overseas to impress Australians and citizens of the UK.
And what's more, Simon Ugly writes with those timeless rock'n'roll themes of Bad Girls ("Voodoo" and "Motorbike" Girls respectively) Bad Behaviour ("Six Pack", "Junk Food") and Bad Attitude ("Don't Need A Reason" alright).
Loves Ugly Children kick down the garage door with opener "Coming For You", a hot-wired trash epic that sets the tone with destination to your heart scrawled on its belly. From there, the first half of the album is unrelenting good fun as the band delights in playing up to that trashy rock'n'roll vibe in "Six Pack", "Pump It Baby", those two great Bad Girl tunes and "Junk Food". It's a glorious mix of the heads- down thrash of Cakehole with the post-grunge swagger first recorded on the "Suck" EP. All in all, this half of Showered In Gold is the most explosively listenable 20 minutes of adrenalin-charged rock to appear so far this year.
"Suck" itself is an energetic high-point of the second half of Showered In Gold, but the songs surrounding it alter the mood somewhat. "You Don't Hate Me" is as musically fragile as this lot get, but that's over-turned immediately by the unsettling heavy metal riffery of "Seven" and the brilliant "Don't Need A Reason", a lost oasis of slide guitar action courtesy of producer Matthew Heine. "It's In My Blood" closes the album, lurching from Able Tasman Graeme Humphreys' drunken organ into one of those Biblical epics that Simon Ugly just can't keep himself from writing (this is the man who penned "Jesus Christ Satan" for a previous b-side!).
One of the greatest traditions in the fine art of rock'n'roll exists through those bands labelled as "punk" ever since the Stooges and Velvet Underground laid waste to the groovy-isms of sixties rock. But those bands and the ones that followed -- from the Ramones to today's Loves Ugly Children -- looked to create the most exciting music possible out of the so-called 'primitive' tools of the rock'n'roll trade, mostly by fuelling it with speed and desperately screaming something of your own.
In making this album, all shiny and showered in gold, Loves Ugly Children have pointedly screamed something of their own alright and like all good innovative traditionalists (!) they've kept true to the style. Love it to bits.