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Playground Instructors

The Lovethugs

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Album Review

The Lovethugs hail from Oslo, Norway. Playground Instructors is their debut for Rainbow Quartz. Neo-psychedelic guitar rock is their game. They play it OK, creating a heady mix of twisting guitar lines, trippy atmospheres, and funky rhythms. Having a full-time percussionist certainly helps in this last regard. The best songs are those with the most straightforward structure, like "You Are My Bird," "A Little Bit of Something," and "Bringing It Down." When the band indulges in freer formats (like on "What's the Season" or "Playground Instructor"), it ends up sounding like an uptempo jam band, sort of like Phish if that group was into the Chocolate Watchband. The main problem with the band is the lyrics. They are not good. No doubt English is not Jim Faulty's first language, but that doesn't make listening to his clunky, awkward work any easier. His voice is also a little on the grating side, mostly due to the strange mix that separates the instruments very severely and shoves his slightly off-key warbling way out front. So Playground Instructors is not a bad record. However, there are a lot of other bands doing what they do and doing it much better, making this a record only hardcore collectors of modern neo-psych need to consider.

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