Siren Review by Gary Hill

Siren, by the Love Commandos, presents a band with a unique sound and a lot of maturity. Since the group (with various personnel changes) has been around for eighteen years as of 2010, the maturity makes a lot of sense. Beginning their career as a cover band, it’s no shock that the Love Commandos’ sound draws on a many well-known acts, but delivers those influences in an original manner. They describe their sound as “loud rock music,” but claim “a pretty wide range of influences that they draw upon.” In the most general sense, that works quite well in describing Siren.

In addition to illustrating talent and maturity, Siren shows a group that has an interest in producing an album that is, indeed, an album. Too often in the 21st Century artists seem more interested in creating songs to be delivered as single track downloads, and an album that ebbs and flows is too rare. Love Commandos have not forgotten this, though. In fact, they go so far as to book end the release with an air raid siren at the beginning and end, making it a complete work. That sort of attention to detail is something that makes the album stand apart from many new releases.

Another simple description would be “post punk” or even just “punk rock,” but, while that is one of the predominate genres on display, Love Commandos in no way are content to stop there. Even a track like the opener “Barrel of a Gun,” which is closer to pure punk rock than much of the music, has other styles on display. In some ways this number feels like a long lost Dead Boys’ song, but catchier. One can make out plenty of power pop in the mix.

“Respiration” shows a different side of the group. The keyboard-heavy arrangement feels akin to 1980s New Wave. Yet, Love Commandos bring a modern sound to the table, too, as genre bending seems to be a prevailing trait throughout Siren. As another example, “(((This is the Sound)))” has some nods to the B52’s in terms of its vocal presence. The opening of “Breed” feels like it could be a house track played at a club, and when it moves into the frantic punk-oriented verse section there are hints of Hawkwind-like space music. Yet, DEVO could even be mentioned as an influence on the piece.

As mentioned earlier, Love Commandos has the knack for treating an album as a larger work, rather than a collection of singles. Siren flows like an album, and never once seems redundant or trite. While its punk inspired hard rock may not be the perfect fit for every listener, it is a well-constructed album. The music and musicianship are professional, and Love Commandos know how to write great songs and play them well. Those are skills that will certainly serve them well as they further their career.

Review by Gary Hill
Rating: 4 Stars (out of 4)

Gary Hill is a musician and has been a music fan since a young age. His main musical interests are in progressive rock and heavy metal, however he enjoys many other types of music. He has been writing for quite a long time, having worked as a freelancer for such publications as All Music Guide. Hill’s book “The Strange Sound of Cthulhu: Music Inspired by the Writings of H. P. Lovecraft” was published in 2006. He created Music Street Journal in February of 1998 as a means of covering the music that he enjoys.

This review can also be seen at Review You .