ARTIST: THE REGRETTES
TITLE: HOW DO YOU LOVE?
LABEL: WARNER RECORDS
WORDS: JO COSGROVE
They’re one of the biggest punk bands to break out this year, and it’s time they show what the big fuss is about with a hit summer record. California outfit The Regrettes have taken to the long-form narrative approach with their latest record, the genre-defying, era-combining ‘How Do You Love’. A fifteen-track tale of new love, true love, and losing the love one would hope would’ve been forever, it’s something that is rarely seen in recent times within the industry. And even when it’s attempted, it can often fall flat and fail in hooking the listener from start to finish.
The record opens with a poignant and blunt spoken world poem by lead vocalist Lydia Night, she asks one of the world’s most difficult questions to answer: “Are you in love?” Describing love along the lines of a brutal physical assault upon and within the body, it welcomes the story that is to be told, of someone who was indeed in love and would indeed suffer the consequences.
“The Regrettes have taken to the long-form narrative approach with their latest record, the genre-defying, era-combining ‘How Do You Love’.”
Night invites everyone to “come a little closer” in ‘California Friends’ as the infatuation begins anything but smoothly. Steady beats bring in the mood of elation and sparks flying, and the calm is non-existent. As with new love, the joy and the glee is hard to hide and impossible to tone down; and that is perfectly translated in this first composition on the listing. As bouncy and energetic as the heart of a new lover with no signs of stopping or slowing down anytime soon, it smartly eases and matures into the calmer and braver ‘I Dare You’.
From coming a little closer to jumping in, slight issues sneakily appear to arise through the 80s-influenced favourite, ‘Dress Up’. Channeling the pop-punk likes of The Go-Gos, the band bring the conflict in a wonderfully catchy way. It’ll make the listener want to dance, whip their hair, and sing along and forget about the true nature of what is unfolding before their very eyes. By bringing life to sad and powerful lyrics such as, “I love you, I’m sorry,” Night continues to portray the bodily responses to emotion and stress through each passing song and with this, demonstrates the truth of the fight-or-flight mechanism within the brain. Fight for love and a happy ending, or fly away from the oncoming car crash and lose every chance? There’s only one way to find out, and that’s continuing through the album.
“a young love story for the brave new generations…”
Guitars can speak louder than the lyrics as the record comes to an end, and the story approaches its expected yet tragic conclusion. But the saving grace from having the hear about another heartbreak in this lifetime is that it doesn’t get there quietly. The adventure ends ‘Has It Hit You’ and ‘How Do You Love’, which stick to the retro theme the group are playing with and living through. However, combatting the fun and carefree beats of the 80s throwback sounds heard previously are new sensations of carelessness (a step beyond carefree) and anger and frustration which are akin to the rougher side of punk rock from the 1990s. Influenced by the grunge movement, famously marking the decade on the map, it gives the most accurate feelings within the whole album: love rocks, losing love sucks.
The moral of the story: sometimes love hurts. Musical moral: never sell the theme of love short. It’s still one emotion that brings out the tortured artist in everyone, no matter the age, the experience, or the art form used. This is a young love story for the brave new generations.
In three words. Love, Regrettes style.