High-octane punk 'n' roll outfit the No Loves' roots in the St. Pete scene are about a decade deep — guitarist/vocalist Jim Putney and drummer Mike Hobbs were violating noise ordinances under the name back when no one was sure whether or not shows at the Emerald would pan out. The co-founders have been through multiple lineups and even wholly different bands since then. They never could get the definitive sound and attitude of the No Loves out of their blood, though, and that's a good thing for fans of good old straight-up fastrawk. Fully Loaded is the first album to feature the logo of legendary Pinellas-born label Stiff Pole Records since founder Richard "Big Stiff" Konwinski passed away in July of 2010, and is both celebration and continuation of that roster's high-volume legacy.
Fully Loaded's stylish, so-hip-it-hurts cover art — courtesy of former Nutrajet frontman Greg "Stainboy" Reinel, whose Hot Mouth shares Friday’s album release bill — lets you know exactly what you're going to get. Putney, Hobbs, guitarist Curtis McCall and bassist Steve Merkel are clearly fans of the streetwise swagger of Supersuckers and New Bomb Turks. But the lengthy process that led to this years-in-the-making debut allowed the No Loves to develop their own identity and sidestep cookie-cutter sameness. "So Long" is melodic and countrified; tracks like "Perfect Rock Plan," "45" and "Faces on the Wall" show a surprising emotional compulsion, while touches of harmonica, piano and pedal steel (the latter from producer Steve Connelly) lend depth without compromising the band's quick, loud and dirty essence. All of these tunes were obviously built to kill it live, but there's an exceptional balance of energy and maturity here that makes Fully Loaded a deeply satisfying listen. (Critcs’ rating: 3.5/5 stars)
DETAILS: No Loves Album Release Party with Doll Parts, Hot Mouth, Fri., Jan. 27, 8 p.m., The Local 662, St. Petersburg, $5.
Tyler- I can't believe how talented of a writer you are. This article was beautifully…
Great interview! Give the interviewer a full time job! He's great!
The DJ was actually The Castle's very own DJ Tom Gold :)
Fabulous review Gabe! Too bad I missed it.