Trying to replicate on record the energy of a live Love Zombies performance is akin to trying to capture lightning in a bottle, one of the most fun and energetic bands that you’re likely to catch on a live stage. Just how do you transfer that over to a studio setting? Easiest answer is, “with great difficulty”, but for 34 minutes, ‘Passion Fruit’ tries it’s damndest to recreate the joyous feeling of a Love Zombies gig. Punk power pop (not to be confused with pop punk) is all about fun. The catchy melodies, the hooks, and the pogo-tastic choruses, all scream “leave your troubles at the door, you’re safe now”. ‘Passion Fruit’ continues this thought. Blondie meets The Ramones with a stop over at Gwen Stefani’s house for a nice cuppa. Add some neat rock n’ roll guitar, and hey presto! – Love Zombies, everyone.
Originally released to pledgers only, here it is in all its raw, unfiltered glory. The running time scrapes just past the half hour mark, as these folks don’t believe in overstaying their welcome. The brainchild of the whirling dervish that is Hollis Mahady (vocals), and Davey Fitzsimon (guitar), Love Zombies are the perfect band for these shitty, troubling times. Opener, ‘Oblivion’ is a sizzling blend of hooks, power chords, and melodies that screams of the Happy Days theme tune on speed. The drum beat rattles the song along at a fair old pace, and this continues headfirst into the eargasm sounds of ‘Robots And Aliens’. The only thing missing from it is a voiceover saying “I would have gotten away from it if it wasn’t for you meddling kids…”. The perfect theme tune for a revamped Scooby Doo, only if Shaggy is permanently fucked up and Velma is the hot one (so, no change there then!). ‘Spiders’ toys with the idea of the little buggers crawling in your mouth when you’re sleeping “because that’s what spiders do”. It’s a fun track with more of a glam rock vibe and a nice laidback vocal from Hollis.
‘Favourite Song’ is the proud owner of one hell of a catchy groove. The totally un-punk harmonica is a nice touch too. The mid album duo of ‘Lighten Up’ and ‘Big And Strong’ slow things down a tad, but surprisingly, I feel these are the two best tracks on the album. Great storytelling, lyrics that will have differing meanings for different folks, and performances that sound like they were recorded right there, right then, with everyone in the same room. ‘Fast And Frantic’ along with ‘Birthday’ bring back the energetic pacing, and the latter, in particular, is a fantastic few minutes when it is played live in a sweaty, cramped shoebox of a club. ‘Who The Fuck Are They?’ is one of the catchiest songs ever to contain the F-bomb. Again, a highlight of the Love Zombies live set, it is a guaranteed floorfiller that will have you grinning ear to ear. Job done.
Love Zombies are perfect for the summer, regardless of the weather, ‘Passion Fruit’ is joyous and needs to be cranked up for maximum effect.
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Review: Dave Stott