1997. Yeah, really! And if I needed one last release to take it over the top and certify the all-out supremacy of 2014, now I've got it! Portland's Lovesores - whom we haven't heard from since around this time last year - are back and killing it as always! Focke-Wulf Vs. Spitfire, out on Germany's Hound Gawd! Records, is the band's second ten-inch EP. That's a very underrated format, don't you think? Perhaps the only thing cooler than ten-inch vinyl is Scott "Deluxe" Drake himself - who continues to lead the greatest punk rock n' roll band on the planet. Lovesores welcome new guitarist Saul Koll and do not miss a beat - continuing to power out sweaty, high-energy rock n' roll with the snarl and sleaze of '70s punk. As a guitar tandem, Koll and Adam Kattau are absolutely red-hot. If you like a heavy dose of rock n' roll guitar in your punk music, you're gonna go nuts for this release! And in the event you were expecting signs of mellowing out from Drake after a quarter century of slugging it out in the scene, you will be pleased to discover that he's still a wild man on the mic. I'm telling you, folks: he hasn't lost anything!
If there's a plus side to Lovesores having not yet released an album, it's that the quality of their recorded material has been consistently high. These guys haven't turned out a single song that I didn't think was great. If you combined all of the band's EP tracks into one collection, you'd have an album every bit as good as those early Humpers classics. And the trend continues here - with four more smashers that will have you screaming in delight if you've been lamenting the near-extinction of real rock n' roll. Hearing Drake shout, "You better stop...before somebody gets SHOT!" gives me chills - because I know there's no other person alive who can pull off that line quite the way he does. It's clear that he's having the time of his life fronting this phenomenal band - and these days he's giving us some of the most exciting and inspired music he's ever put his name on. And the addition of sax man Graham Coslett infuses another element of awesome into this fine EP. The title track will just about melt your face off, while "Desperation Now!" is the latest and greatest testament to the immortality of Johnny Thunders. And "Get Off" is my cup of tea all the way: snotty '77 punk with scathing fuck-you lyrics. I would bet the house that crowds go totally crazy for this one.
The question of whether or not two ten-inches are better than one 12-inch is impossible to pose without opening a Pandora's box of dirty jokes. But as far as I'm concerned, Lovesores can plan releases on 8-track, reel to reel, or any format they want if they continue to make music this great! Focke-Wulf Vs. Spitfire, like all the band's prior recordings, is a 100 percent essential purchase. And if next year does bring us a full Lovesores LP, 2015 has a chance to be an even better year than 2014!