Coveter oozes fucking cool. It’s all there in the way they present themselves. While doing my research, I couldn’t even find out any of their names, or even their Facebook page. Some might say that they are shooting themselves in the foot. I think they are just that confident in their music and don’t feel the need to play the game. Their first EP Love Me to Pieces is just as aloof. Every word seems to be sung with the utmost detachment, which is funny considering there is plenty to be excited about. Coveter are hardly original, but they are one of those rare modern rock bands who pilfer the hard-rock riffs and funky grooves of the past, yet don’t sound derivative. That alone is cause for celebration, even if the band seems like they would be above such things.
Love Me to Pieces bows at the altar of Queens of the Stone Age, Them Crooked Vultures, and Arctic Monkeys‘s AM, and proves itself worthy. All of the five songs here do an excellent job of incorporating alternative, blues, funk, and even pop with a modern twist. Its greatest trick is how it seems to rock hard, yet seems so laid back. Like AM, it is a quintessential late-night record. It’s the kind of music that you put on when you’re starting to feel that the night has petered out, but you’re too stubborn to call it quits. It is definitely not an exercise in vulnerability. It’s way too apathetic for any of that.
A lot of the songs concentrate on the singer’s encounters with women. The kind that he meets are the ones that “keep their noses clean with baking soda” and “look fine, even when they’re drinking all of his wine.” The title track even suggests that one of them murders him and hides pieces of his body in her freezer. What’s hilarious is that he still manages to sound indifferent. It’s a fun yet damning reflection of the current dating world, in that love isn’t so much felt with the heart, but with genitalia, drugs, and maybe even a phone application.
For a first EP, it’s remarkable how self-assured Coveter sound, especially considering that they have only been around for a year. Every song is superb, but highlights “Who Knows?” And “Ammonia” might even be some of my favourite rock songs of the year. Not everything works though. The title track’s juxtaposition of dark lyrics with a dance-rock hook is comedically and musically brilliant idea, but it somewhat falters in execution. “God, I miss that sex” is the kind of line that only Prince could make work, and the opening bass line is dangerously close to “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” (and not in a good way). It just doesn’t mesh with the previous four tracks and makes me hope to god that this isn’t a transition towards a more poppy follow-up record.
There’s isn’t anything wrong with having a more danceable sensibility, it’s just that major labels have the tendencies to scoop up bands like that in their talons, and squeeze the personality out until there is nothing left. I’d like to think that Coveter is above that kind of stuff. If they were to go in that direction I would hope they would continue to do so in an ironic way. We need a good rock band who can represent this generation for better or worse. If they can continue keeping it cool, Coveter might just be that band.
Written by Shawn Thicke
*edited by Kate Erickson