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Review: Comanechi – You Owe Me Nothing But Love
Published on February 18th, 2013 | Jonny Abrams
The Londoners’ second album You Owe Me Nothing But Love may not sound much like The Hives – it’s more ferocious than that for starters, and not as inclined to revel in its own dumbness – but it sits on the same display stand, accumulating praise for its “raw energy” and outright refusal to take itself seriously. Though this makes Comanechi an undeniably fearsome live prospect, it makes for a pretty dull personal listening experience – unless of course you happen to have just ingested a large quantity of amphetamines and/or sugar, such is the unbridled and essentially aimless hyperactivity of it all.
Akiko Matsuura is positively drenched in star quality, and yet she has nothing of any interest to say whatsoever. “Music doesn’t always need to have a message, man!” Of course not, but herein lies Rocksucker’s own home-cooked distinction between ‘great live band’ and ‘great studio band’. Why would anyone need this particular volume of scuzzy ‘rawk’ riffing and unhinged, yelped vocals? For the lyrics like “She’s a whooooore!” and “My brother fucked me / His name is Edward”? It’s easy to see why this perverse trashiness has attracted a following, but it seems like somewhere along the way the line between attitude/identity and musical merit got blurred, allowing Comanechi to come bursting through with bucketloads of the former and, technical musicianship notwithstanding, very little of the latter.
There are good bits – “Into the Air” has a nice sort of ‘dark Pixies’ feel about it, “Death Threat” builds up a head of steam, while the single “Major Move” is an energisingly urgent and heaving feast of sludge – but we’ll be darned if we look back on any of this with any particular fondness come the end of the year. ‘Boring’ is probably not an adjective that’s been applied much to Comanechi, but that’s precisely what Rocksucker finds You Owe Me Nothing But Love to be. Sorry.
Rocksucker says: Two Quails out of Five!
You Owe Me Nothing But Love is out now on Tigertrap Records. For more information, please visit www.comanechi.com