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The Lovemakers 

Misery Loves Company (Fuzz Artists)

Wednesday, Jul 18 2007
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Oakland's electro-pop purveyors the Lovemakers have never made any bones about their aim for global domination. So it's no huge shock to hear principals Scott Blonde and Lisa Light step away from flogging their "We Love the '80s" template now that the neo new-wave sound smells less than fresh. Having parted company with both major label Interscope and keyboard player Jason Proctor, the duo gives riffs and synths equal time on Misery Loves Company, a new EP for musician-oriented imprint Fuzz Artists. With its rote pastiche of Berlin-style pout and a melodic swipe from Joy Division's "Love Will Tear Us Apart," the title track resides firmly in skinny-tie town. "Whine and Dine" builds on the band's typical 808 handclap pulse, however, by adding squealing lead guitar and a hefty beat. A bigger departure comes in Blonde's newfound pursuit of the perfect Bic-waving power ballad: "Naturally Lonely" stands as a well-executed, if bald-faced, "Purple Rain" rip-off, while "Save Me" achieves a somewhat more successful mix of White Stripes crunch and Freddy Mercury majesty. The grit found on Misery Loves Company marks a sensible departure from the Lovemakers' glossy past, but the band still has some distance to travel before moving past its obvious influences.

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Dave Pehling

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