Welcome to the musical meandering insights of Aaron Joy. Here you'll find 600 reviews of CDs & DVDs of rock & metal in all its variations, mainstream & indie. What they all share is that the album or band is unique in some way & not every submission was reviewed. Please share these reviews or link to them if you like what you read. Reviews are no longer being posted here but feel free to e-mail Aaron & post comments. (Formerly the Roman Midnight Music Blog)

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Love Crushed Velvet ~ Love Crushed Velvet (aka debut)

(Click on heading to visit official website.)
Style: glam rock, hard rock, pop rock
Label: self-released
Year: 2010
Home: New York City
Members: A.L.X. ~ vocals/keyboards/guitar/percussion

Additional: Darren Korb ~ guitar/bass/keyboards/programming/b. vocals
Sammy Merendino ~ drums
Ben Romans ~ keyboards/programming
J2AM ~ drum loops
Elli Lara ~ cello
Pete Remm, Brian Hecht ~ keyboards
Drew Mortali, Roger Greenawalt, Graham Maby ~ bass
Jeffrey Swart, Georgia Haege, Aleksandra Dubov ~ b. vocals

Guests: Thommy Price ~ drums

Jimi K. Bones ~ guitar/mandolin/percussion/b. vocals
Enzo penizzotto ~ bass/b. vocals

I'll confess that on first listen to this debut album by LCV I heard some glam rock, I heard some alt/indie rock, I even heard a bit of new wave but the full individual personality of the album didn't hit me. Over a month later, after numerous relistens in the midst of countless other albums that hit me much faster & may even be closer to the type of music I tend to enjoy on my down time ... it's Love Crushed Velvet that I find myself singing in off moments. LCV, the child of songwriter & multi-talented A.X.L., an abbreviation of Alex caused by a misprinted tour poster, is an undescribable mix of great lyrics & hypnotically layered, though not necessarily flashy, rock. Personally, I've struggled since getting this album because I've never felt like I've been able to do it justice as I'm truly lost for words. Quite often this is a sign that I'm not thrilled by a band, but in this case the exact opposite is true. LCV will sneak up on you. On one hand there's a serious lyrical rock sense to the album backed up by a musical growth similiar to Billy Idol & other rockers who try to do more than just throw out fluff lyrics of buxom girls & haphazard riffs. "Goodbye Goldblatt" has been included on Rock Band 3 video game which is a sign that Love Crushed Velvet has its rock grit in place. But, yet, it's also quircky & deceptively upbeat in a way few bands are able to straddle. One of the best that comes to mind is early R.E.M. As for the new wave influence, or the modern take on it, this might largely be due to the presence of producer Dave Bascombe whose resume includes Tears For Fears, Depeche Mode, the Human League, Erasure & Placebo. Anyone can hire a big name session musician for a gig if enough money is available but producers are a breed that, unless assigned by a major label which isn't the case here, are known for only accepting a project which they can believe it. Bascombe's presence is a credit to the writing talent of A.X.L. But, also, with a range of past work that goes from fluffy queer pop of Erasure to the dark cynical outings of Placebo there's no doubt that A.X.L. is going to be able to shine as A.X.L. & not as a shadow or imitation of a past band. My inability to accurately due justice to LCV with any words is proof of this. Though, if you enjoy any of the bands on the Bascombe resume you'll certainly enjoy Love Crushed Velvet. & for those who may wonder given the name, this is not a depressing walk through broken heart but soars with high energy radio friendly songs even on the last few songs when things take to a slower pace. Along for the ride & even helping mold the song is drummer Thommy Price of Billy Joel & Blue Oyster Cult, guitarist Jimi Bones of Blondie & bassist Enzo Penizzotto, with all three men spending time in Joan Jett's Blackhearts.

(featured on the Roman Midnight Music CD Reviews & Interviews podcast: episode 36 "Interview: A.L.X. of Love Crushed Velvet," November 2011, click here to listen)


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