In their third self-released album, Phoenix, Arizona’s Love Me Nots still have a sound straight from the Detroit garage scene, but this time bring tighter songs to their well-crafted sound and aesthetic. Their second album, titled “Detroit,” featured songs bound to replicate the scene’s sound and ideals and does so successfully. However, “Insideout Upsidedown” not only perfects Detroit style without being self-contained as an expirament, but also stands some of their most polished songs yet.
Kicking off with the fiery proclamation of independence, “Do What You Do,” a rhythm-heavy rocker, the set’s rocket ship energy refuses to relent until the very end. Likewise, the band’s careful consideration for each song results in each song feeding into one another, refusing to let you even think about skipping any of these gems, even when some songs are stronger than others. Case in point: the rich “You Don’t Know a Thing about Me,” features lead singer and Farfisa organ player Nicole Laurenne playing a riff straight out of the band’s own private Go-Go club. Then there’s the bouncy rhythmic fun of “He’s What I Want,” lead by Michael Johnny Walker’s guitar (though, where he really shines is the fuzz-muted rhythm and dizzying solo in “Not That Kind of Girl,” where the band experiments with their own style of furious psychobilly). The high energy caps off with the slowed down “Undone,” a dark-but-sexy R&B tune that, with sultry vocals and a thick keyboard background, pegs it as the theme from a long-lost James Bond movie.
Ultimately, this is an album that proves garage rock’s mettle in terms of it being a genre for bands to explore the sounds and styles they want to freely. The Love Me Nots put their own spin on each style they experiment with, resulting in startlingly fresh tunes, and an album that achieves a rare feat for any band: each song alone is just as strong as the album as a whole.
GRADE: A — An album full of classics; the band has hit it’s stride with their most versatile, and exciting, collection of tracks yet.
As for the band, check their MySpace for clips and pics (I’m currently having trouble posting media here). They’re currently touring their side of the USA with no plans for the East as of yet; but their second tour of Europe is being planned for next Spring.