Artist: The Crusaders of Love
Title: Never Grow Up
Label: Douchemaster Records
Release date: March 16, 2010
Release number: DMR 036
Vinyl color: Split yellow and red vinyl
Atlanta’s favorite garage-pop Frenchmen, The Crusaders of Love, decided to sound more “pop” than “garage” and cut out psychedelic influences altogether on their debut Douchemaster long-player. This slight change in direction led to a one of this year’s finest albums.
For the most part, this release is the undergound pop goodness we've all come to expect from Douchemaster and is anchored by should-be hits like powerpop gem “Can’t Get Enough” and the Gentleman Jesse-esque “Better When I’m Gone.”
A lot of the songs are unapologetic ‘60’s pop worship reminiscent of Gentleman Jesse Smith’s other band, The Gaye Blades, and even The Booze. While they don’t necessarily sound just like their bands, The Crusaders of Love at least have similar record collections to local songwriters Smith, Jared Swilley, and Randy Michael.
This pop worship led to dance- and sing-alongs in “Good Time All the Time” and “Time” that’ll be stuck in your memory somewhere in between your grocery list and your mom’s birthday.
Other highlights include slowed-down, mellow garage rocker “If You Want To Try” and the lightning fast “Looking For Us,” which for some reason reminds me of The Hiss. I guess that means this one would have been a hit in 2001. It would have been a worthy hit then, and it would be a worthy hit now if people outside of our little garage-punk world would give bands like this one a chance.
The album ends on a strong note with an effective cover of King Louie’s “Looking For a Heart,” which features some of the best guitar work on the whole album.
If you are wondering where real rock and roll has gone, you probably haven’t heard this album yet. You’ll likely be hearing more from these guys in the future, because people who play real shit and appreciate the classics always outlast the trends.