Loves You...Loves You Not

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Shesus' debut album, Loves You...Loves You Not, is one of those releases that calls for a variety of adjectives -- and those adjectives range from melodic and poppy to dissonant, abrasive, and discordant. The mostly female alternative pop/rock outfit is coming from a punky power pop aesthetic; that's the thing they have in common with '80s new wavers like the Go-Go's, the B-52's, and Blondie as well as '90s artists such as Letters to Cleo, Eve's Plum, Bif Naked, and Elastica. But Shesus is far from a carbon of those artists, even though some of them are among the Dayton, OH, band's influences. Shesus, for all their girlish and melodic poppiness, are also noisy and abrasive -- they're as poppy as the Go-Go's or No Doubt (who, arguably, picked up where Blondie left off), but they also share Lydia Lunch's and Courtney Love's appreciation of discordance. It should be noted that when the Go-Go's started out in 1978, they were a lot more raggedy than the band they had evolved into by the time they recorded their first album, Beauty and the Beat, in 1981 -- so Shesus has something in common with very early, pre-IRS Records Go-Go's as well as the smoother, more polished band they became. Much to Shesus' credit, they pull off the poppy/discordant contrast impressively well; it's a combination that makes for infectious listening on tracks like "B-Side Radio," "Confrontation," and "The More You Laugh." From original material to an inspired remake of David Bowie's "Hang on to Yourself," Loves You...Loves You Not is a very promising debut.

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