Things We’ve Done by Daniel James & The Loveless is an energetic album of thrashing rock with some acoustic interludes. The sound translates to what must be a great live show.
The best song on the album is “Ain’t It Grand” which is up-tempo with an extremely catchy hook. The guitar countermelodies are well thought-out and placed as are the harmonies in the chorus. The breakdown in the middle works very well to build it up to its anthemic climax towards the end. Other highlights include “Pavement” with its Stones-like guitar slides and well- placed pings on the cymbal and “Burn It Down” which closes the album with Ramones-esque fervor. “Cold” has some nice reverb on some lonely guitar notes, power ballad harmonies in the chorus, and an interesting and effective vocal melody that goes double time against the feel of the rest of the band.
Some of the mixing on other songs deprives them of their energy. “Let Me Go,” a bass-driven song has some searing guitar, but the drums feel very small. “Million Voices is a great punk song but is overpowered at times by the guitar and cymbals. “Love In The Fire” is a grunge rocker where the rhythm guitar feels louder than the lead guitar at times. Other times, the arrangements get a little busy such as “21st Century” where the guitar countermelody distracts from the vocal in the verse (though stays out of the way for a fantastic melodic vocal hook on the chorus). “Straight & Narrow” has a really flashy guitar solo but it feels out of place with the rest of the track, which also contains some tempo discrepancies.
The two acoustic songs on the album are quite good, showing off some Kings Of Leon inflections through a Springsteen-like howl. The title track that opens the album has a 12/8 groove that drives and “Rock Angel” has a folk-song like quality. Both of them feel a little out of place with the rest of the album; perhaps a different sequencing could help them feel more congruous.
The band obviously has lots of energy in their playing. The barebones approach works very well for them and their songs. A little bit of remixing could help shape some of the songs a bit more and show off what they’re already doing so well.
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