The Love Triangle - Clever Clever (Cover Artwork)

The Love Triangle

Clever Clever (2013)

Static Shock Records / Sorry S

From somewhere in the UK, and the remnants of several other British punk bands, come The Love Triangle. Normally noisier, the band have honed their sound to make an arguably perfect slab of pop-punk.

The band's sound harks back to groups that mixed pop melody with the basics of punk before pop-punk, as we now know it, was distinguished from the rest of the rest of the genre. The Ramones are of course a touching point (although given this type of music that's kind of inevitable) but much moreso the Buzzcocks. Rather, like that group, they take quick-paced tunes with catchy melodies and a cheeky sense of humour, and add a post-punk inflection into both the music, and the level of angst. There's also a garage-punk leaning on display. The Marked Men and their ilk come to mind and the drums and guitar sound often recall, whether by design or accident, Eddy Current Suppression Ring.

There are genuine melodies in these songs and not just someone grunting over the chords while some goon shouts "whoa-oh" behind him.These melodies actually will get stuck in your head (particularly "So You Think That You've Found Love"). The music tends towards great speed, and is both energizing and energetic. Of course, it's pretty simple, but it all fits together so spectacularly well, and there's some sweet guitar work. There's lots of down-stroked power chords to be sure, but also post-punk stabs, downcast minor strums, and neat 60s garage rock solos and leads.

The lyrics are fantastic, especially when arranged to such good music. There's a definite intelligence to them, but humour too. A good example is "Touching God", which deals with agnosticism. It goes in the space of thirty seconds from talking about the collision of stars to announcing that the singer (EOT of The Shitty Limits) needs to urinate. Elsewhere, boredom and apathy towards nigh-on everything are chronicled (on "Settling In"), mortality is pondered (on the more pensive closer "The Situation is Excellent"), mindless sex is both glorified and warned of (in the weirdly uplifting "Hollywood Sleaze", one of the album's highlights) and snarky swipes are taken at the British middle-class in the Gang-of-Four-gone-garage stomp of "I'm Still Waiting for a Buzz" with the lyrics "swapping water for Campari/ you watch the news with the sound turned down/ you scan the bookshelf for the answer/ but it's nowhere to be found".

This release comes off the back of a 7" and a ton of tapes. Indeed, they released another cassette at the same time as this album. No one could say they're not prolific then, but as of the moment they're little known. This batch of terrific songs proves The Love Triangle worthy of so much more than tape-collector obscurity, though. A couple of listens and you'll be hooked.

Check it out here.