Shout Out Louds
How many bands do you think have taken their name from a minor character in Mario Puzo's novel The Godfather? The answer is two. And that's one too many. So the latter Luca Brasi became Shout Out Louds.
The Swedish band's debut, "Howl Howl Gaff Gaff, was followed by '07's "Our Ill Will." The group's third album, "Works" landed three years later.
The name Shout Out Louds sounds like it should belong to some no-holds barred Punk outfit. But they aren't that. Instead, Shout Out Louds could probably get work as a Cure tribute band.
When not sideswiping Robert Smith's band, the Shout Out Louds still manage to stay firmly within the Reagan era. They even do "Meat Is Murder" though it's not The Smiths' song.
"Howl Howl Gaff Gaff" and "Our Ill Will" have everything people loved about '80s music - synthesizers, shimmering guitars, catch-all melodies and kiss-off lyrics ("You Are Dreaming") sung with practiced vulnerability.
"Work" begs the question: "What happened?" The synths are left in the trunk as are the group's songwriting skills. The tempo drops and the song intros are lengthened to no real advantage. On the plus side, "Throwing Stones" and "Show Me Something New," could have fit on either of the group's first two albums, and there are two better than average tracks, "Play The Game" and closer "Too Late Too Slow." The latter title is an apt description of this set.