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The best kept secret in music


"Loveless' Latest is a Gift to the World"

Three years after their self-titled, five song EP was released to give the fans a mere taste of the new material, Loveless has finally gotten around to laying down the six new tracks to complete their first full-length album. Let me say this: years of sifting through demos, waiting for red tape to clear, and anticipating the arrival of a baby have paid off for this band.

Loveless, a mutt group of musicians calling Boston its (original) home, is comprised of members who have seen some form of recognition over the years. These members include Dave Wanamaker (lead vocals/guitar) and Pete Armata (bass), both formerly of Expanding Man; Jen Trynin on backing vox and guitar, a new mother who saw minimal fame as an artist signed to Warner Bros. Records; and drummer Tom Polce, formerly of now-defunct Letters to Cleo.

I recently had a chance to interview Wanamaker, and he proclaimed that the band definitely knows where it wants to be in respects to their histories. "I think that if this band were our first time out, we would have different expectations," said Wanamaker. "But since we all have had success of different kinds with other bands it keeps our heads in the right place."

Prodding a little further, I was curious as to whether this meant that Loveless was happy without major-label backing?

Well, I suppose we'd take a (major label) deal if it was the right one. The record business is in such a fucked up time right now it's hard to say. For now we are working really hard to get this record off the ground with Q Division (records)."

The record he speaks of, Gift To The World, is swarming with up-tempo, driving tracks that will quell the desires of any true music fan. Wanamaker describes the music on Gift as "Rock and Roll in a 1971 corvette convertible," and take my word, you will want to drop the top while spinning this CD in your car, regardless of the New England temps.

With towering riffs, infectious vocals/lyrics, and mesmerizing tunes, there is no doubt you will be doing all you can to stop yourself from busting out some nasty air guitar while listening to the record (please, for everyone's sake, refrain).

The pop-impresario is revealed in Wanamaker through his brilliant lyrics and contagious arrangements. In "Beautiful" (the song formerly titled "Tonight" on the EP), Dave conveys, "Tonight/I only want to feel beautiful." Jen Trynin, commenting on the rarity for a male to admit wanting to feel beautiful, said that Wanamaker writing such a lyric is "so odd that it's amazing," and I must concur!

Other standout tracks are "Go" (the first single, currently receiving spins on WFNX and WBCN), "A Gift to the World", "You Wore Me Out", and "Stick to the Girl." Each one blasts off with hooks that would put a career fisherman to shame and vocal arrangements that will leave you craving for more. The other tracks on the album are all equivalent to the aforementioned, but a couple do seem a bit too similar in style and sound. Regardless of that, with ripe, catchy albums like Gift To The World, Loveless needn't worry about pushing an indy album for much longer!

The new album dropped in November, and you can find it at any Newbury Comics location (as well as on Loveless' website). Check out the redesigned site at, take a listen to some sound clips, and hit up some of their local tour dates to witness an energetic live show that will leave you begging for an encore!

Album Grade: A-

- Eddie Quinn III

- Rolling Stonehill

"What's Blasting From Spin's Offices This Month"

February 2004

On their lush, hyper-melodic debut, this Boston quartet (featuring members of mid- '90s chancers Expanding Man and Letters to Cleo) bring power-pop spunk to arena-size choruses, and the effect is like Canuck almost-rans The Pursuit of Happiness rocking the WB.

- Doug Brod, executive editor

- Spin Magazine

"Loveless Remains True to its Journey-esque Roots"

The Boston Globe
January 16, 2004

Loveless singer-guitarist Dave Wanamaker can't help but laugh as he gamely attempts to justify his alleged love for Journey. "I like Journey for the prom value, and for the comedy -- that band was funny," says Wanamaker, addressing a nasty rumor that the songwriter harbors a passion for the stadium-rock titans responsible for such tailgating mega-hits as "Don't Stop Believin' " and "Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin' " More than Steve Perry's soaring tenor -- or the lighter-worthy love anthems -- "the thing I liked about them," Wanamaker says, "is the unabashed `rock star' [vibe] that they were all about.

Loveless's just-released debut album, "Gift to the World" (Q Division Records), embraces what we'll call "the Journey era," but mercifully leaves out the bad stuff -- i.e., the actual music of Journey. The album harkens back to the days when smart yet accessible, classically constructed pop songs primed for rock radio were actually heard on rock radio. Loveless celebrates the CD's release with a show at Bill's Bar Friday, headlining a bill that includes Heavy Stud and the Spaceshots.

The disc certainly has its share of grand gestures and lighter-worthy moments ("Cold"), but guitar-stoked, fiendishly effective tracks like "Go" and "Suicide Machines" reveal a fiercely focused rock band that understands the shrewd power of economy and volume. You'd be hard pressed to find a more devilishly lovely chorus than the one Wanamaker wrote for "Beautiful."

"It just felt like everything I heard on the radio sucked," he says. "There was so much bad music out there that you get to feeling like somebody's got to write something good -- or at least what you think is good."

"Gift To The World" is an album Wanamaker wanted to make even before his old '90s alt-rock group, Expanding Man, broke up after a major label deal turned sour. Although he had some misgivings about the split ("I had been playing with them for so long, it was like having a longtime girlfriend. You can't imagine being with anyone else"), he craved a fresh start. "I felt that band had run its course, and I wanted to do something different and try and sing the songs I was writing -- although I had no idea what I was doing when I started this band."

Enlisting ex-Expanding Man bass player Pete Armata, along with drummer Tom Polce, and guitarist Jen Trynin was a brilliant first step. Trynin, a singer-songwriter who had also been signed to a major label and weathered some frustrating experiences (in fact, she's writing a book), had all but quit playing music when her old friend Wanamaker prodded her back onstage.

"By the time I left music, I was sick of it and exhausted, and couldn't remember why I was doing it in the first place," Trynin recalls. "Dave was constantly giving me [a hard time] that I was being a wiener and a baby and that I should pick up my guitar and play. One day, he called and said he was playing at an open mike and wanted me to come and hear his songs. So I went, and I was blown away. And he said, `So why don't you come be in my band?' It was good timing on his part. He could have hit me on a different day, and I would have said no way, go away."

- Jonathan Perry

- Boston Globe


Gift To The World-2004


Feeling a bit camera shy


Tom Perrotta writes:

I saw Loveless for the first time at the Lizard Lounge, a small basement club near Harvard Square. The Lizard's an intimate, no-frills place, a room with a bar but no stage, nothing to mark out a border between the performers and the audience.

What a thrill to come across a band like Loveless in a space like that. Midway through the first song -- it was "Go," the infectious opening track on the band's new CD, Gift to the World --I felt like I'd been transported back to some dimly remembered suburban garage, where kids I knew were rocking out for their friends, and I was drinking a beer and grinning at anyone who caught my eye, happy just to be there, included in the charmed circle created by the music blasting out of the amplifiers, connecting everyone to everyone else. This feeling of privilege and discovery intensified with each subsequent song -- "Stick to the Girl," "This is a Way," the haunting, "You Wore Me Out," -- all of which, in that uncanny way that the best pop songs have, seemed oddly familiar even though I was hearing them for the first time.

Loveless has a distinctive sound, a dynamic blend of power and delicacy, sweet swooning melodies floating over big crunching guitars and a propulsive rhythm section, Stone Age rock leavened by a hint of Britpop. As I discovered that night at the Lizard, Loveless has pulled off the neat trick of making music that somehow manages to feel intimate and arena-sized at the same time. Dave Wanamaker, who wrote and sings all the songs on Gift to the World, traces the band's roots back to the radio stations he listened to as a kid growing up on Long Island.

"There were basically two stations," he remembers. "One was classic rock -- Zeppelin, Thin Lizzy, The Beatles, The Stones -- and the other played this dark British New Wave-Echo and the Bunnymen, The Cure, Jesus and Mary Chain, U2. Loveless combines both elements. The songs have a real rock side, but they also have this sad, pretty, melodic side."

Wanamaker started Loveless in 2001, teaming up with bassist Pete Armata (the two played together in Expanding Man, a well-regarded hard rock band of the '90s). Next they added Jen Trynin on rhythm guitar and backing vocals, and rounded out the lineup with Tom Polce (Letters to Cleo) on drums.

At first glance, you might be tempted to think you see the two sides of Loveless incarnated by the band's two guitarists. Frontman Wanamaker is a charismatic figure on stage, a striking, physically imposing guy with real rock star swagger. Next to him, Trynin seems waifish and reserved, even in her camouflage miniskirt and platform boots, the epitome of the sensitive indie rock chick. Her vocals have a whispery, sometimes fragile quality that softens the edges of Wanamaker's more aggressive delivery.

But merely pointing out this simple masculine/feminine dichotomy doesn't do justice to either Wanamaker or Trynin, or to the complex chemistry of Loveless. For all of Wanamaker's guitar heroics and hard-rocking pedigree, he turns out to be the real romantic visionary behind Loveless, a male lyricist unafraid to explore his own physical and emotional vulnerability in heartfelt songs like "Beautiful" and "Gift to the World."

"It's only after you've gone through something yourself that you can write honestly about it," he explains. "And by keeping songs honest and simple, people can identify with them much more strongly. To me, a song is better when someone can make that kind of connection. "

While a number of songs touch on potentially melancholy subjects like romance gone south ("Darling Would You"), suicide ("You Wore Me Out"), and depression ("This is a Way"), the darkness in some of Loveless's songs never becomes oppressive. Throughout the record, Wanamaker repeatedly invokes music as an antidote to despair -- "a way to fight it off," as he sings at one point-and a reason to get out of bed in the morning.

"Everybody has something that they'll turn to that'll make them forget the bad things," says Wanamaker. "For me, the thing I had to turn to was playing guitar and writing songs."

If Wanamaker's emotionally honest songwriting seems at odds with his hard-rocking persona, Trynin, on the other hand, quickly reveals herself to be tougher, funnier, and way more outspoken than she appears onstage. These aspects of her personality are reflected in her rhythm guitar work with Loveless, which is jagged and gutsy, anything but ladylike.

"Jen is the perfect guitar player for this band," Wanamaker says. "She's loose and intuitive, kinda like Keith Richards. She keeps things from getting too clean and precise."

To add a final twist, Trynin and Wanamaker have traded places in Loveless. Trynin, a critically acclaimed solo artist in the '90's -- she released two solo albums on Warner Brothers, an experience she's currently writing a book about-has traded in her frontwoman status to join Loveless after a short hiatus from the