Marty Casey & Lovehammers (also known as Lovehammers) have been around for quite awhile now, but have only recently begun creating a buzz. Until their lead singer, Marty Casey, appeared on the show Rock Star: INXS, they were a local Chicago band. Most people outside Chicago had never heard of them.
Their newest album, self-titled Marty Casey & Lovehammers, contains 11 of their best pre-Rock Star:INXS songs, as well as the new song “Casualty.” It also includes the song “Trees,” which became a fan favorite when Casey sang the song on Rock Star: INXS.
Since the new album consists of most of their best work, most of my list contains songs from that album. They have some fan favorites on previous albums, but many of them require some getting used to, some history, or a look at the lyrics before they become really enjoyable, as they are the band’s earliest work.
While it may be fun to study the progression of their music over time, most of the band’s earlier songs will not make my top 10 list. It was a difficult choice, however, as I love every song on their new album, as well as much of their previous work.
They have quite a few songs covering a range of styles, and I like each of them for different reasons. Many fans may disagree with me, but I find that one of the best things about their music is that nobody has the same list of favorite songs. They have something for everyone, and I have never found a single song that seems to be the favorite of most fans. Instead, there are maybe ten Lovehammers songs that are fan favorites.
I could go into great detail about each song, but then I would have to write an article on each one. Instead, I will stick to the general reasons these songs are my ten favorites.
10. “Rain on the Brain” is a song you may not remember the first few times you hear it. It is not a very catchy song, but is a very emotional song, with powerful lyrics. This song is on the new album, but I actually prefer the previous recording of it from the L’Strange album. The emotional impact of the song seems to have been dampened somewhat on the new album. If you ever catch this song live, it has an even greater emotional impact. It’s a wonderful thing to see.
9. “The Riddle” is one of their “poppier” songs, but a lot of fun when you’re in the right mood. This song makes you feel like being silly. It was previously known as “Yes It Do,” and has a funny history, which the band explains on their Live – Raw DVD, in which Marty Casey recounts how Dino used to say “yes it do” as an answer to every question he was asked. This probably accounts for why it makes me silly, and makes me dance a stupid dance every time I hear it. It is also a great high-energy song when performed live.
8. “This Town” was on a previous album entitled Murder On My Mind. This is a great live song, but does not have nearly the impact when listening to it on the CD. It’s still good on the CD, but just doesn’t compare to having screaming fans all around, pumping their fists, and singing along. It’s a great audience participation song.
7. “Casualty” is an introspective song that I prefer to listen to when I’m by myself, relaxing. It has some great lyrics, and a nice melody. It’s a good live song, but I think more enjoyable when you can sit back an really take it in, and listen to the lyrics.
6. “Trees” is a fun song. This is one of their catchier tunes, and is one of the best songs to experience at a live show. The audience really goes nuts for this song. It is easy to pick up the lyrics quickly, and many fans sing along through the whole song. This is another wonderful audience participation song, but is also fun to listen to and dance along to with the CD. There is some awesome guitar work by guitarist Billy Sawilchik.
5. “Clinic” is a very cool song. Marty Casey really brings out the emotion on this song with an unusual style of singing that makes the song very interesting. My favorite part is the whispering voice saying “Let me out.”
4. “Straight as an Arrow” is a hard hitting, high energy song. It has some of my favorite guitar work, but has some pitchy areas. The pitchiness doesn’t matter though. It is impossible to sit still when this song comes on. This is also one of the best songs to see live.
3. “Low-Life Insurance (Let’s Get Wasted)” is probably one of my favorite songs to see performed live (including songs by all the other bands I’ve seen perform live).This one is from their previous album, Murder On My Mind. This is the best song to play at a party. What can I say? The song kicks some major ass.
2. “Clouds” is one of the most beautiful songs I have ever heard. It’s hauntingly beautiful, and gives me the sort of eerie (in a good way) feeling that a cloud-covered sky on a beautiful evening in the mountains would give me. I can’t get enough of this song, and I can never listen to it only one time. Every time I listen to it, I have to replay it at least once. It has beautiful lyrics, a beautiful melody, beautiful guitar work, and everything is perfectly synched. Billy Sawilchik has a guitar riff on this song that is so great!
1. “The Tunnel” is such a terrific song for many reasons. It’s a lot of fun to rock out to at a concert, at a party, or in your room. It has some unusual and unexpected lyrics (my favorite being “I see you through the exit wound”), and it’s also a bit introspective, and a great song to listen to when you’re by yourself. Whenever I feel like just listening to some good music, but am not sure what I’m in the mood for, I can always turn to this song.