Album Review: Love Zombies – “Passionfruit”
To say that the Love Zombies’ debut album has had something of a difficult genesis would be stating the flippin’ obvious. Halfway through its recording, frontwoman Hollis and guitarist Davey suddenly upped sticks and moved from London to Los Angeles leaving behind not only the rest of the band, but also Hollis’ other gig as frontwoman with Hey! Hello!, something which didn’t exactly go down well with the HH fans, especially as it led to the band having to cancel a tour just days before it was due to begin.
Suffice to say that the stakes are pretty high here in terms of Passionfruit needing to be a success then. And luckily, they’ve just about pulled it off. This album is everything that the Love Zombies had only really hinted at up until now, with the frenetic likes of Oblivion and Zombies And Aliens sounding like a cross between The Dollyrots and Zombina and The Skeletones at their poppiest. Key to this is a much fuller sound, with the tunes roaring out of the speakers at you where previously they always felt a bit muted.
For the most part, it’s full throttle pop-punk to the max, with melodies sweeter than a candy store and more hooks than a clearance sale at a fishermans’ warehouse, but there’s a couple of curveballs in there too, like the glam-rock stomp of Spiders and the kooky ’50s rock ‘n’ roll vibe of Love Zombies Theme, showing that they can vary the pace when needed. Always good to know.
The only drawback with this album is that it does seem to end up repeating itself a bit on later tracks, with the likes of Fast And Frantic sounding a bit unremarkable compared to the earlier songs on here, and a couple of the branch-out attempts such as the Spector-style girl group dynamics of Big And Strong don’t really work as well as they could. But the closing one-two-fuck-you of Birthday and Who The Fuck Are They? gets things back on track in time for the end of the album, and keep this one well on the right side of good.
Hand on heart, I've never been wholly convinced by The Love Zombies thus far, so it's good to report that their debut is a decent effort, even if it's got a few kinks in it that they haven't quite ironed out yet. If sticky-sweet pop punk with plenty of attitude and earworms is your thing, then there's plenty to get your teeth sunk into here.