Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Lovejunk - Amstradivarius (Blind Drunk, 2003)

The next few download posts of mine are dedicated to my buddy JGoon, probably because he's the only one one who might be interested in them. Hopefully not. Lovejunk is very intertwined in our pop punk history, though I'm not sure he's ever heard them before.

(I didn't think I'd make this so long. A couple of good beers will do that I guess.)

So a long time ago I heard of this band called Snuff, who were the introduction to my love of English melodic punk. I believe the label that originally put out Snuff Said in the U.S. (along with the Fuel album and a Mr. T Experience album) went out of business in the early 90's, but you could find cheap cutout versions of those albums on cassette if you did some digging. I think I ordered Snuff Said on cassette from Round Flat Records for like $4 brand new. I loved it right away and played it for JGoon, who also loved it. Now by this time, I had amassed a hefty collection of punk tapes from high school. At this point, however, I would only buy CDs or vinyl, but Snuff was a hard band to find in any format in the U.S. so I took what I could get.

Not long after I introduced my buddy to one of his favorite albums to this day (right?), we were at Rush-Mor on one of our record shopping excursions together. Did I even drive us there? I forget. Anyway, starting at different areas of the CD section, we comb through the selection. Suddenly JGoon makes his way over to me with a CD in his hand. I look at it and then at him. Snuff Said! Awesome! I wasn't even sure if this existed! Thanks! Oh, you're keeping it. Yeah, sure. Finders keepers. It's only fair.

Luckily Fat reissued it some years later.

But I have secretly harbored a deep resentment towards JGoon thoughout these years and I will NEVER FORGIVE HIS CALLOUS ACT OF TREACHERY, BETRAYAL AND GREED AS LONG AS I LIVE!!!!!!!!

After Snuff, I checked out all the English pop punk that I could get my hands and ears on. Some was easier to find than others. China Drum were on an incognito major label and I cleaned up on ebay finding a lot of copies of Leatherface Mush in dollar bins. But I eventually had to do some mailorder from the UK to get my fix. One of the distros that I bought from was Crackle, who also ran a label. I had heard One Car Pile Up from some old mp3 site. JGoon picked up a Chopper 7" that sounded a lot like old Snuff. And I heard of another band that featured an ex member of The Stupids who were releasing an album on Crackle. So I ordered Lovejunk and a few other things.

I loved Lovejunk right away.

A few years later I saw that Lovejunk were releasing a CDep and another album. I downloaded the only 2 or 3 songs that were available from each, one of which was featured on both releases called "Ethan & Emma." That song has been one of my favorites ever since. It's one of those songs, like Big Drill Car's "A Take Away" or the Hard-Ons' "What Am I Supposed To Do?" or Snuff's "Not Listening." A perfectly crafted punk pop song that gets stuck in your head and would fit perfectly on a 90's punk mix tape for someone special.

For some reason, I never ended up buying that Lovejunk CDep and album. I always figured I'd get around to it back then, but I think I ran out of other stuff to buy and didn't want to pay $30 or so for 2 CDs from England. About a year after the time of those releases, JGoon and I were writing reviews and I noticed that he had gotten to review the new Lovejunk album and liked it. I asked him to give me a copy of it, but it turned out that the review was done by someone else with his same initials. I even contacted someone in the band semi recently who couldn't locate an extra copy.

But I finally tracked this CD down. And I'll finally get to it. I'm sure JGoon will like it, because they've always reminded me of another favorite of ours: Sinkhole. I want to say they're like the English version, but they do sound really similar, both musically and vocally. For those not familiar with Sinkhole, imagine a pop punk version of the Replacements at their best. Or maybe old Soul Asylum. As much as I still like current pop punk, I miss the bands who weren't quite as typical of the genre, like Big Drill Car, Pegboy, the Doughboys, etc. Lovejunk definitely fall into that camp. Strong punk rock that just happens to be really melodic and catchy. But not afraid to slow things down at times or take a step outside the mold.

Amstradivarius was a little late in the game and severely under-promoted, so I'm sure it didn't get the attention of Dr. Strange or Lookout fans who probably would have liked it. I can hear some of Lovejunk's sound in a newer band like Rumspringer as well, with that heartfelt punk simplicity done really well. This album was one of the reasons I couldn't concentrate on my best of 2012 post. I was too distracted revisiting 2003. Not that I'm not complaining. I'm sure no one else was either. ;(

Oh, and I've heard mention that Boss Tuneage is going to be releasing something from Lovejunk this year. Hopefully something new, but I'm sure it will be a full discography, just after I finally finished tracking most of their stuff down. Maybe now I'm complaining. ;)

Lovejunk - Own World

Edit 3/15/2013 - Aaannd of course Boss Tuneage is releasing a discography from the band soon. They could have let me know that when I ordered the CDs recently! Nah, they do good work.

Lovejunk - Amstradivarius (R) (vbr 0)


  1. HA! Of course I'm going to download this, but first...I have to admit, I remember this day easily & DID feel bad I found it first, BUT YOU WERE THE ONE TO BLAME!!! YOU SHOWED IT TO ME, and we had already been scavenger-buddies for quite awhile. I found it fair & square, BUT if it meant our friendship, to this day I would give to you. But wait...if I recall, I am the only one cherishing physical copies anymore anyways, so it goes back to me!!! Remember when we saw Brand New Unit in Milwaukee? Remember when I stole that awesome BNU poster off the venue and gave it to you? THAT WAS BECAUSE I STILL FELT GUILT FROM YEARS AGO ABOUT THE SNUFF CD!!!!! (tell me you still have that poster) I love you buddy.

  2. Also...I also have the Fat version, but display that original proudly

  3. yeah, you cherish those physical copies. more than our friendship! nah, water under the bridge, man. speaking of brand new unit, stay tuned. i'm pretty sure that bnu poster is still sitting in my room at my parents' house. was this really the show? i don't remember link 80.

  4. Thank you so much! It's so tough!!
    No doubt, LoveJunk is a gift.

    Is it normal to ask you to share their discography here,
    or at least LoveJunk Tribulations alone?

    Can't find LoveJunk at Boss Tuneage.

    bUT I see Elmerhassel
    Crocodile God
    Wanton Thought

    They are amongst my wishes too.

    1. Unfortunately I don't have Tribulations here. It's at my parents' house, so I'll rip it next time I'm home. I do have the Vodatumour Blues ep that I can up shortly.