Hippo Manchester
November 10, 2005

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The Lovemakers, Times of Romance

Cherry Tree

**1/2

The Lovemakers

1 part Blondie

1 part Garbage

3 parts New Order

1 sprig The Killers

2 tsp. Psychedelic Furs

Muddle Garbage with two tsp. Psychedelic Furs in a chilled higball glass.

Fill with ice.

Combine Blondie and New Order, stirred (shaking will bruise the New Order).

Add to glass, garnish with a sprig of The Killers.

“Prepare for the Fight” has been making quite a splash, you can’t listen to FNX for an hour without hearing Jason Proctor’s synth streaming along under the call and response of Lisa Light and Vermont-born guitarist Scott Blonde.

Times of Romance comes slinking out of Oakland, Calif. and is sure to become a staple of the swelling dance-punk scene. With their uptempo beats, retro-wave programming and ingratiating lyrics the Lovemakers have an intriging debut CD. While most of the album departs slightly from the moderately NiN-tinged “Prepare for the Fight,” the essence of passionate club/new-wave fusion threads through out Times’ 13 tracks. Standout songs “set me free” “is it alright?” and the smilingly earnest “Shake that ass” save the disc from the mediocrity of its missed opportunities.

And misses it contains. “Hypnotized,” “We should be taking our clothes off,” and “times of romance” are forgettable mistreads into Elastica-rock, Human League- influenced pop, and Prodigy-interpreted synth-rock. At worst these tracks seem quizzically out of place and don’t tarnish the album as a whole, with the exception of “prepare for the fight  - dummies club mix edit,” a BOOM-BOOM house remix of the opening track. It’s sad that a disc can open so strongly and finish leaving such an awkward taste in your mouth.

Still, by conveniently not ripping track 13 to your iPod you’ll have a nice head- bopping/booty-shaking disc. The dance influence mixed with the darker synth and guitar work well to please all aficionados. I suppose that The Lovemakers are bridging the gaps between the NYC-based dance-punk sound and ’80s New Wave but do they need to have so much dumb club thumping mixed in?

— Glenn Given