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Tom Hingley and the Lovers Abba Are The Enemy Review

Album. Released 2004.  

BBC Review

If you've been in a working band for twenty years, what do you do if you leave? Stop...

Nick Reynolds 2004

If you've been in a working band for twenty years, what do you do if you leave? Stop playing music? Work in a call centre? Tom Hingley was part of the "Madchester" boom of the early eighties, as lead singer of Clint Boon's Inspiral Carpets. Steve Hanley played bass for the legendary Fall from 1980 to 1999. Joined by Steve's brother Paul on drums (also ex-Fall), Jason Brown on guitar and Kelly Wood on keyboards,The Loverssound excited to be making music again. But their enthusiasm isn't enough on its own to make this a good album.

Steve's signature muscular, rubbery bass is instantly recognisable, but they don't sound much like The Fall. Instead The Lovers serve up classic garage punk; cheesy, edgy organ and over-amped guitar dominate.

Hingley's lyrics and singing cover the good, the bad and the bizarre: "I'm gonna live my life as a tiny horse" he yells at one point. He lashes out in all directions, with some shrewd observations on Courtney Love on "Hole" and attacks prescription drugs on "Online Pharmacy".

There's plenty of energy and some good moments like the over the top wah-wah pedal on "Tattyfalarious". They keep it short and sweet, with 12 tracks clocking in at under thirty-five minutes. And they tackle the problem of being long in the tooth directly on "I Feel Old". But sometimes they sound like they are so excited to be playing again that they forgot to write enough good songs. It's only on the second half of this album that they calm down and start to get good with "Boy Band".

If you loved Inspiral Carpets or even The Stranglers you'll like this. They're probably great live, but for now The Lovers are promising rather than outstanding.

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