Brent Loveday and The Dirty Dollars
When listening to Brent Loveday's punk rock band, Reno Divorce, it's fairly easy to tell where he and his bandmates are coming from; they wear their Southern California inspired brand of punk rock loudly and proudly on the sleeves of their leather jackets.
However, with his solo project, “Brent Loveday and the Dirty Dollars,” he reveals a sound that is as straightforward as it is enigmatic. There’s certain elements that are easily recognizable; rockabilly, rhythm and blues, classic country, boogie-woogie…but they’re cleverly juxtaposed and delivered with a snarl that eases effortlessly into a croon. This leaves the listener taking aim at a sonic moving target.
It’s with these genres Brent Loveday uses as a foundation for his deft storytelling; tipping his hat but never quite bowing to cliché, and he’s built a rollicking juke joint on top of them. This isn’t what you’d call singer/songwriter fare. To the contrary, that’s a suit he’d rather not don. “I don’t serve any specific style. I write what I feel, and if a song calls for this or that, then that’s what it’ll get. I don’t want to paint myself into a corner.”
This much is evident on his demo-turned-debut “The Upperhand at Being Underhanded.” His latest EP, “Comedown From the Comedown” is just as fickle, too. Every song sets a tone and a mood, and although you can readily tell this isn’t Reno Divorce, there’s still a subversive and dangerous quality that permeates through the familiarity of the roots-based rock and roll that connects the two.
Even Loveday’s firstborn son gets in on the fun by lending his saxophone talents to the mix. “It was an incredible experience to have my son, Austin, play on this record. He was still pretty young when he played on “The Upperhand.” That was intended to be a demo. We had both grown up a lot by the time this record was being recorded. We bonded through the music in an ethereal way. There was closure for some rough times and I was beaming with pride to watch and listen to the musical similarities my son and I shared.”
The wheel may not be reinvented on this EP, but it surely has been smoothed out. Pretense is willfully abandoned and replaced by a refreshing slant on classic form, and the only misstep, and perhaps done purposely, Brent Loveday and his band makes is that they always leave us wanting more. You feel like you’ve been here and heard this before, yet you’re hearing it this time through virgin ears. This ain’t revival rock, ya’ll. It’s revival rock, evolved.