The Loved Ones Keep Your Heart

If you’ve worn out your well-loved copies of Lifetime’s Jersey’s Best Dancers or Kid Dynamite’s Shorter, Faster, Louder, Loved Ones are here to help you out. Building on the tight, melodic fury of their self-titled EP, their debut full-length is a non-stop barrage of driving, meaningful punk rock, just the way Lifetime were kicking it out in 1993. Featuring former members of Kid Dynamite, Trial By Fire, the Curse and Paint It Black, Loved Ones have an impressive lineage to live up to, and they show up at the plate swinging with opener "Suture Self,” a perfect example of just what makes this band so compelling. While the Jersey/Philly influence is worn loud and proud, Dave Hause’s vocals owe as much to Gainesville as any other American locale, and the bass work of Michael "Spider” Cotterman is more Dillinger Four than anything else. Even taking time to slow things down with tracks like "Sickening,” which sounds like Texas Is the Reason trying to write a Ramones song, the band show a side of versatility that elevates them above the pack of Lifetime/KD sound-alikes. (Fat Wreck)