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It Had To Do With Love

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Album Review

Practically void of guitars, this Koufax debut on the Heroes and Villains record label is curious testimony to the band's geek rock uniqueness. Koufax's retro concoctions — featuring two keyboard players exchanging bells and whistles — make for an interesting listen, but can sound contrived at times. Guitars and keyboards clearly represent an either/or proposition on It Had to Do With Love. This unfortunate outlook limits the record to infrequent hints at Koufax's potential. When the guitar is allowed into the synth-heavy mix, as in highlight cut "Going to Happen," the band's kitsch is diminished, and they sound like a top-notch indie unit. Koufax draws heavily from '70s synth-rock and pop-prog artists like ELO, Supertramp, and perhaps some early Genesis to piece together their keyboard excursions. Unlike Jeff Lynn, Peter Gabriel, and Rick Davies (each of whom made excellent use of any vocal space their band's layered mixes would allow,) Koufax vocalist Robert Suchan doesn't possess the range to enliven the band's near-guitarless tracks. These questionable arrangements have a stiffening affect on the material that results in a feeling of detachment. Suchan's nasal monotone is all indie rock, thereby creating a juxtaposition with his bandmate's synth-pop and prog leanings that almost works. It Had to Do With Love might sound silly, or even boring to hardcore emo or indie fans, however, listeners who treasure bolder, more eclectic recordings will enjoy this pop experiment.


Formed: 1999

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s

Fusing elements of '70s rock, '80s new wave, and '90s emo pop, with some Pets Sounds-era Beach Boys thrown in, the distinct sound of Koufax won over underground stars the Get Up Kids. With the disintegration of several Detroit and Northwestern Ohio bands, the band was formed by singer/guitarist Robert Suchan, who liked the sound of famous Dodger pitcher Sandy Koufax's name. The band relied heavily on the sound of piano and synthesizer, from not just keyboardist Sean Grogan, but drummer Dave Shettler...
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It Had To Do With Love, Koufax
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