Lovesucker - Lovesucker
Other Lovesucker, an indie rock/power soul group from North Carolina, have an extremely punnable name. There are so many puns which come to mind upon hearing the name Lovesucker, in fact, that it is tough to decide which one to use. For the present, fair reader, you will thus be given respite from the many and sundry potential silly and marginally sexual quips which are dancing around in my brain, but I can't promise to remain pun-less throughout this review. Consider yourselves warned.

Another warning I feel I should disclose about Lovesucker is the following: beware of high volumes. The lead singer, Crystal Crosby, tends to like her high notes and, in fact, any notes, belted out to the rafters. If Macy Gray were watching her children being murdered while singing a nu-soul song, I imagine it would sound approximately comparable to Crosby's voice. We're dealing with almost all "power" and very little soul when it comes to this duo. Crosby's vocals, because she belts them out so harshly and most likely hasn't had much training, are almost always sharp.

Then again we may not be able to completely blame the unfortunate dissonance which is omnipresent in Lovesucker's album on Crosby. To my ear, instrumentalist Zoltan von Bury's funk bass, which features heavily throughout the album, is tuned flat most of the time. I have to ask: are we dealing with two tone-deaf people here? I will say that von Bury's bass is well-played; there's definitely some skill there and he also keeps a decent beat on the drums, but was it hot the day they recorded or something? Get that bass tuned.

Throughout the album, despite the loudness of Crosby's vocals and von Bury trying to fill up the negative space with noisy instrumentals, the sound generally seems canned, messy and under-produced. Now I'm all for stripped down sound, but there's a weird echo throughout the album which makes me think Lovesucker's recording space was not properly insulated. Is that a thing? Maybe it's a thing. Maybe that's what they were going for, but to me this echo makes everything sound off and highlights the poor tuning of both instrumentals and vox.

The first single off of Lovesucker's debut self-titled album is called 'Mississippi' and it is an unfortunate example of what I'm on about. It just doesn't make any sense musically or lyrically. The description of the song's lyrics is that it's about the ghost of a slave coming back to haunt its master, but all I can hear is Crosby spelling out 'Mississippi' in her hernia-inducing scream-singing style. It might be hard to tell what she's even spelling, by the way, because she replaces each "s" with the phrase "crooked letter" and each "p" with the phrase "humpback." It's likely some kind of Deep South jargon, but even there the language is garbled, and the only way I know what she's scream-spell-singing is because it says so in the video. Yes, there is a video for this song, and it is something to behold. Beyond Crosby's disturbing vocals, the organ in this song sounds messy as does the guitar and the production. It practically sucks the love out of the room. I'm going to try to just stick with the one pun for the whole article.

The best song on the album ("best" being a relative term, of course) is 'Show Me.' Here Crosby's vocals are slightly muted in spots so the listener is not overwhelmed by the constant barrage of sound. Von Bury's funk bass is tuned properly to her vocals, and even the echo in the space around the sound is a little less glaring. Bass and guitar work well with the varying timbre of Crosby's vocals, which are also mostly on-key with the exception of one howling note towards the end which goes flat. This chick is all over the board, man. Someone get me a vocal coach, stat!

What we get with Lovesucker is kind of a confusing combination. There are some good bones here. Despite my tirade which sounds to the contrary, Crystal Crosby does have some natural vocal talent but she's clearly not trained and it shows. Zoltan von Bury, for all intents and purposes, seems to be able to play his instruments, but just not tune them or produce for them. Lovesucker almost hits the mark so many times, but their sound just isn't right. I know they were going for the wild, unhinged
"gypsy soul" sound, whatever that means, but even gypsies practiced their music and had an ear for tone. Lovesucker don't exactly suck, but I'm a long way from loving them (Ok I snuck one more pun in, so sue me).
3
Brutal Resonance

Lovesucker - Lovesucker

5.0
"Mediocre"
Released off label 2015
Lovesucker, an indie rock/power soul group from North Carolina, have an extremely punnable name. There are so many puns which come to mind upon hearing the name Lovesucker, in fact, that it is tough to decide which one to use. For the present, fair reader, you will thus be given respite from the many and sundry potential silly and marginally sexual quips which are dancing around in my brain, but I can't promise to remain pun-less throughout this review. Consider yourselves warned.

Another warning I feel I should disclose about Lovesucker is the following: beware of high volumes. The lead singer, Crystal Crosby, tends to like her high notes and, in fact, any notes, belted out to the rafters. If Macy Gray were watching her children being murdered while singing a nu-soul song, I imagine it would sound approximately comparable to Crosby's voice. We're dealing with almost all "power" and very little soul when it comes to this duo. Crosby's vocals, because she belts them out so harshly and most likely hasn't had much training, are almost always sharp.

Then again we may not be able to completely blame the unfortunate dissonance which is omnipresent in Lovesucker's album on Crosby. To my ear, instrumentalist Zoltan von Bury's funk bass, which features heavily throughout the album, is tuned flat most of the time. I have to ask: are we dealing with two tone-deaf people here? I will say that von Bury's bass is well-played; there's definitely some skill there and he also keeps a decent beat on the drums, but was it hot the day they recorded or something? Get that bass tuned.

Throughout the album, despite the loudness of Crosby's vocals and von Bury trying to fill up the negative space with noisy instrumentals, the sound generally seems canned, messy and under-produced. Now I'm all for stripped down sound, but there's a weird echo throughout the album which makes me think Lovesucker's recording space was not properly insulated. Is that a thing? Maybe it's a thing. Maybe that's what they were going for, but to me this echo makes everything sound off and highlights the poor tuning of both instrumentals and vox.

The first single off of Lovesucker's debut self-titled album is called 'Mississippi' and it is an unfortunate example of what I'm on about. It just doesn't make any sense musically or lyrically. The description of the song's lyrics is that it's about the ghost of a slave coming back to haunt its master, but all I can hear is Crosby spelling out 'Mississippi' in her hernia-inducing scream-singing style. It might be hard to tell what she's even spelling, by the way, because she replaces each "s" with the phrase "crooked letter" and each "p" with the phrase "humpback." It's likely some kind of Deep South jargon, but even there the language is garbled, and the only way I know what she's scream-spell-singing is because it says so in the video. Yes, there is a video for this song, and it is something to behold. Beyond Crosby's disturbing vocals, the organ in this song sounds messy as does the guitar and the production. It practically sucks the love out of the room. I'm going to try to just stick with the one pun for the whole article.

The best song on the album ("best" being a relative term, of course) is 'Show Me.' Here Crosby's vocals are slightly muted in spots so the listener is not overwhelmed by the constant barrage of sound. Von Bury's funk bass is tuned properly to her vocals, and even the echo in the space around the sound is a little less glaring. Bass and guitar work well with the varying timbre of Crosby's vocals, which are also mostly on-key with the exception of one howling note towards the end which goes flat. This chick is all over the board, man. Someone get me a vocal coach, stat!

What we get with Lovesucker is kind of a confusing combination. There are some good bones here. Despite my tirade which sounds to the contrary, Crystal Crosby does have some natural vocal talent but she's clearly not trained and it shows. Zoltan von Bury, for all intents and purposes, seems to be able to play his instruments, but just not tune them or produce for them. Lovesucker almost hits the mark so many times, but their sound just isn't right. I know they were going for the wild, unhinged
"gypsy soul" sound, whatever that means, but even gypsies practiced their music and had an ear for tone. Lovesucker don't exactly suck, but I'm a long way from loving them (Ok I snuck one more pun in, so sue me). Apr 15 2015

Off label

Official release released by the artist themselves without the backing of a label.

Layla Marino

info@brutalresonance.com
Writer and contributor on Brutal Resonance

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