Home > TheRest > The New York Loose – Loosen Up EP

The New York Loose – Loosen Up EP

Flipside Records, 1995Loosen_front

Through many years of flipping through used bins and reading music reviews, I have come to appreciate a good album cover regardless of content.  I like the simplicity of the Allman Brothers’ “Eat a Peach” as well as the mania of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ “Fever to Tell”, but I also like the literal cover of the New York Loose’s “Loosen Up” EP.  It pretty much tells you that they’re a rock band fronted by an eccentric frontwoman who is willing to go all out with her rock persona.  Check out those leggings and ah, yes.  Despite only five songs on this disc it was certainly worth a pick up to check out what excitement this band is, at least visually, implying they are bursting out with.

With vocals that rival those of the grrl bands of the day, Brijitte West growls through five tunes that are rock as promised, but aren’t necessarily the excitement as wished.  “The Desperate Hopeful” is passable but forgettable, but the title track at least adds some catchiness despite West’s unfortunate pronunciation of her “All I wanna”s throughout.  One would have to listen for oneself, but the phrases sound as if she was a seven year old having a tantrum in a toy store.  The EP’s best track, “James”, is mainly so because West decides to lay off the rock chick persona and sing a little more coherently.  It is apparent that, despite the decent (but unremarkable) musicianship of the band, it’s up to West to deliver the engaging quality for each track.  If she sounds terrible, forget it.  If she can hold it together without causing the listener to grimace, then the song turns out alright.  I present exhibit A (miss) and exhibit B (okay):

Unfortunately, this EP just doesn’t impress enough to back up the cover art or the idea of a charismatic frontwoman, but it was a good enough start. The band put out a full-length record before West joined up with Famous Monsters, and in 2007 a compilatilon of the New York Loose was released with this EP as well as other tracks. It is likely worth more of a listen than just these five tracks. Regardless of whether one likes what the New York Loose has released in any format, I imagine that if one could step back to 1995, one can see why people may have been excited about a young blonde fronting a rock band.

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