After opening the mailer it took some time to realize that I hold a Fat Wreck release in my hands. I always associated Fat Wreck with colorful and drawn artworks but the second full-length of The Loved Ones comes along in an unfamiliar cardboard with a black and white photograph on it. Please don't get me wrong it looks pretty good!
Since the debut of The Loved Ones two years ago there were some line-up changes. After bassist Michael Cotterman left the band, half of The Loved Ones consists now of members of the lately disbanded The Explosion, which I really loved in the year 2001 when they put out their hardcore influenced punkrock debut „flash flash flash“ on Jade Tree and came to Europe to support Sick Of It All in smaller venues.
While now having ex-members of The Explosion, Paint It Black and Trial By Fire the sound of The Loved Ones is extensively free of hardcore influences. Some years later “build & burn” brings us catchy poppunk which is definitely more rock (and roll) than punk. The artless song structures, a great singer and a perfect producing create an easy to consume background music. This is so adequate background music that won't disturb me in my current activities.