The beauty found in art, as in life, is about friction: joyful songs with sorrowful lyrics, minor key riffs over doo-wop chord progressions, or a post-communist refugee songwriter surrounded by a cushion of North American veterans of guitar pop. Adam Sabla is an example of all three, and leading the band Loose Fang seems to be a perfect fit for him. The Czechoslovak-Canadian tunesmith was lucky to find a full band of collaborators (Jay Slye, Catherine Hiltz, and Ian Browne) and bunker down in the port town of Steveston, British Columbia to create the full length Live Wires, Black Sheep, a title that reflects their penchant for guitar buzzing and finding the wandering souls of the nearly deceased guitar generation.
The title of their focus track “Goodbye” says it all – it’s about a breakup after a long, co-dependent relationship – the kind you’re in when you don’t know how to be because you’re young. It’s flawed but formative and impassioned – both during and after.
“Goodbye” is a perfect representative of the rest of the album, which revolves around love, heartbreak, self-medicating and feeling guilty for it; seeing ourselves repeating mistakes borne of class and political divisions. In essence, grappling with a variety of existential crises to a danceable backbeat, loud guitars, and melodies that are deceptively simple. It has the melodicism of 80s college rock like the Replacements or REM, but with the ferocity of Raw Power Stooges or the Buzzcocks.