You know that scene in the sci-fi movie when the hero ducks into an underground club to elude the authorities? He's searching for his hacker friend who can clear his name by "jacking into the mainframe" to find the real psychopath bent on world destruction. He pushes through the sweaty, heavily made-up, fetish friendly crowd who are busy dancing hedonistically to some band playing super aggressive, fist-pumping synth-rock.
The New Loud are that band, as subtle as a large mallet, overheated, super-compressed and in your face. Their new 6 song EP, Can't Stop Not Knowing
begins with a blast. "Don't Dance" explodes with manic energy, chock full of chanting vocals, constantly shifting structures and endless climaxes. Every square inch of ear space is covered. Shane Olivo and Jessi Nakles shout "You don't dance me, but I dance you. I dance you do you dance me too?" Is dance a word substitute for love or lust? Later it becomes more explicit and we have our answer: "I could dance anyone if I wasn't dancing you."
An unfortunate version of Radiohead's "2+2=5" follows. I can think of very few bands I'd like to hear covering Radiohead. The New Loud are certainly not one of them, and frankly they haven't earned it. "Heaven" is catchy, new wave inspired rock and "The Short Way to Get You" deftly borrows a bit of its melody from Death Cab For Cutie's "Soul Meets Body." The EP's strongest song is "Every Girl I See. (demo)" precisely because it's in a raw state and not produced within an inch of its life. The band lets down its guard and sticks with something simple and it's a welcome relief. By the end of the six tunes, your ears are worn out from the tinny, pounding sounds and constant shape-shifting, which doesn't bode well for future full length releases. But The New Loud knows its audience. Their name explains their goals and to expect subtlety from this outfit is wishful thinking. There is clearly a level of musicianship and production value here and Olivo knows his way around the studio. Can a band called The New Loud ever grow to be anything but that? With a better choice of covers, a subtler color palette and an increased taste level, perhaps they'll be around long enough for us to find out. -dan siegler
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MP3:"Don't Dance" - Can't Stop Not Knowing
The New Loud on Myspace