The Gentleman Loser

Thoughts and Musings of a Loser

A few days ago a not-so-mysterious package arrived in my mail.  Inside was an advance copy of The New Loud’s upcoming EP, Can’t Stop Not Knowing.  You may remember that I mentioned this entertaining band in my review of the 2009 Forward Festival. So seeing as I have this shiny new bit of  soul and commercial product in my hand, I might want to give it a review.

Don't Dance

First off, the packaging itself is nice.  A glossy digipack case with lots of clean solid coloration.   From a graphic design standpoint, it is simple and tasefull while evoking a mood consistent with at least the albums slower songs.  I should take a moment to mention that the graphic design element for this band is really strong, take for example the image to the right, created for the EP’s single Don’t Dance. What looks like a simple Holga double exposure evokes an aesthetic that makes one think of a movie poster.  Which brings us to…

The first track, Don’t Dance starts out a little iffy, but structured oddly which keeps you interested.   Around the 2 min mark it becomes amazing.   The call and response style made me think back on just before AFI became a big thing.   Synths are simple, frentic and analoguey.  You can hear for yourself by checking out the music video posted on their blog. And you should.

Next on the EP is a cover of Radiohead’s 2+2=5.  The presence of both a male and female vocalist has a surprisingly strong effect on the vibe of this cover.  The band’s driving-an-out-of-control-car feverishness plays well with the original song’s lyrics.   An intense song like that is all the more impactful when it runs head first into the slower ballad song Heaven which is sweet but seems rather simple compaired to the complexity of it’s peers on this album.

“The Short Way to Get You” starts out with a slow gait, but in short time picks up to a more poppy pace.  Perky bright synths contrast with vocals that remind me in a abstruse way of a lovechild between Alkaline Trio and Brandtson.  This song is the one that stikes me as having the most “mainstream potential” though I am not sure whether I mean it as compliment or criticism.  One thing for sure is that this song strongly illustrates the vocal talent of this band.

Every Girl I See, which is a demo, might be my favorite song on the EP.  Only a little rough, it is a somber song drenched in distrortion and noise.  It’s no wonder that I especially like this one, I’m a sucker for that combination.   Were I the one putting this album together, I would have closed it with this track.  Aside from being a great wind-down from the pacing of the rest of the EP, as it ends, it leaves the listener with a bit of emotional residue.

All in all, this seems like a whole differnt band from the one I saw live at Forward Fest.   Now that I have a chance to hear more than the wall of structured noise and frustration, I am surprised to find harmonies and a far more positive and hopeful soul at this band’s core.  I am looking forward to their upcoming LP, but in the more near future, I can look forward to their next show here in Madison:

The New Loud 1/23/2010 10:00 PM at High Noon Saloon – Yo La Tengo after party w/The Hood Internet

701A E. Washington Ave., Madison, Wisconsin 53703

One Response to “Can’t Stop Not Knowing”

  1. The New Loud Says:

    Thanks so much for the review!! The New Loud is a totally independent, self-released band and we really appreciate all the shout-outs we get as they all really help.

    It’s cool you liked ‘Every Girl I See (demo)’. We’ve gotten a few reviews back so far and that track seems to be pretty polarizing. People either ‘get it’ and love it or don’t and think its a complete waste of a track – LOL! The LP version is much, much different, but we thought this had its own interesting feel, so, we decided to include it on the EP.

    LP is being mastered as we speak, we’ll get you one out as soon as we can.

    FACT: The demo was actually going to be the last track (as you suggested) with about 10-15 sec of space in between the extended mix of ‘Heaven’, so the extra version of ‘Heaven’ was more of a bonus track. During the mastering process the extra 10-15 sec of silence would have transferred to the actual outro of ‘Every Girl I See’. An extra 10 sec would really ruin the flow if the demo ended up on a mix tape/playlist so we elected to just have the tradition 2 sec.

    The New Loud

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