Last year, I was lucky enough to see The Loved Ones open for Strung Out at the Hifi. I have to admit that prior to the gig, I didn’t know The Loved Ones, but that night I became a massive fan. Last year, I was also lucky enough to see Dave Hause (lead singer of The Loved Ones) doing a solo gig, opening for Hot Water Music and the Bouncing Souls at the Zoo.
After the Loved Ones’ gig in June, I went out and bought all of their records and have played them pretty heavily since. In case you’re wondering, they have two full albums, Keep Your Heart and Build & Burn and a couple of EPs, Distractions and The Loved Ones. Dave Hause also released his first solo record, Resolutions, earlier this year and while it’s not as great as the Loved Ones’ albums, it’s still pretty solid.
When I heard them at the Hifi, the thing that drew me to them was definitely Dave’s voice. It’s melodic, strong, sometimes a bit rugged and scratchy. He sounds a bit like Brian Fallon of the Gaslight Anthem, but with more range and depth.
Apart from Dave’s voice, The Loved Ones’ music is fun, catchy punk rock, with a few ballads and slow songs thrown in for good measure. In my mind, Keep Your Heart is their most solid album, full of classic songs with interesting lyrics that really showcase Dave’s voice. They also put on a great live show with heaps of energy, crowd interaction (“How do you pronounce my name? ...Dave.”) and great sound.
They are a relatively unknown band (in Australia at least), which I find strange because their music is so appealing and accessible. But the fact that they’re not that big definitely isn’t a bad thing. They still keep the DIY punk sensibility alive. When I saw them at the Hifi, they were manning the merch stand and when Dave toured with the Bouncing Souls, I’m pretty sure he was moonlighting as the roadie. Also, I had a (slightly drunk) chat with Dave at the Zoo…and he was lovely!
It’ll be really interesting to see what these guys do next. They’ve definitely won me over.