The Loved Ones The Loved Ones

More accessible than much of what is emerging from the Philadelphia punk scene these days, the Loved Ones balance a dedication to the earnestness hometown heroes like Kid Dynamite and an admiration for the more universal songwriting themes of artists like Billy Bragg. Even though this release is only an EP, it is clear that the band has taken some care in crafting a well-structured release, starting things off with the blistering "100k,” which establishes the band immediately as fast, heavy, and wonderfully melodic. Almost hitting its peak with the third track, "Massive,” the EP then takes a small detour where you might expect more of the same sonic pummelling, with the acoustic "Drastic.” An ideal showcase for the band’s pure songwriting talents, things are brought to a close with "Candy Cane,” a perfect close to a short, but worthwhile ride. (Jade Tree)