Following the death of his mother in early 2015, Adam Fight left Southern California for Portland with a quiver of blunt, enraged songs. Fight began playing bass in the local music scene, where he met Elly Swope and Victoria Valenzuela. Then in early 2016, Fight (vocals/guitar), Swope (drums), and Valenzuela (bass) started a new band, Loveboys—a name lifted from Allen Ginsberg’s Howl.
They’d only rehearsed for about a month before fate pushed the three into a house together. They’ve since moved out, but this incubation period was crucial to their burgeoning chemistry.
“We just wanted to explore and take it a step at a time,” says Swope. “Living together was an exciting part of that. We had a lot of conversations about the band while cooking and taking smoke breaks.”
Loveboys’ self-titled debut EP straddles the aggressive bent of Fight’s songs with their undeniably melodic alter egos. It’s an early ’90s Pacific Northwest-sounding sonic assault, despite Fight having written all of the songs in Long Beach. The EP’s seven tracks are fits of seething abandon—the power trio’s agitated manifestos on toxic masculinity, consumerism, and the crumbling state of the world serve as a bitter call to arms for anyone within earshot.
“All that was happening at the time I was writing these songs is that I was pissed,” explains Fight. “I wasn’t very happy with where things were going, and shit just started pouring out.”
“Sow” was the first song Fight wrote for Loveboys, and it’ll set your teeth to grinding. Its raucous neo-grunge perhaps unwittingly borrows the descending barre chord attack of Nirvana’s “Aneurysm.” Similarly, opening track “Tender Branson” scrawls in punchy punk watercolors before the explosive retro-rock attack of “Racecar” raises middle fingers at the consumerist elite. The band fans out on the woozy rocker “Elixir,” which calls to mind the enchanting sparseness of Kim and Kelley Deal. Throughout the EP, the combustible angst Fight felt while writing is obvious.
“With the state of the world, I was inspired in an unfortunate way,” he says.
“Our drive comes from being unsettled,” adds Valenzuela, “and needing a way to...”
Fight finishes her thought: “...needing a way to yell at people.”