As it seems the album format is on its last legs in the playlist-centric world of modern music, Lovehoney aren’t spending a lot of time making albums. Instead, Brooklyn blues-rockers release a three-song EP every three months, which is a great idea: it lets the quartet’s growing fanbase watch the band develop almost in real time, while providing a steady flow of new material without any of the filler that sometimes ends up on full-lengths. There’s certainly no weak spot on the band’s latest, which is Lovehoney’s fourth EP since last year.
Dig This! burns with restless energy, thanks in large part to guitarist Tommy White and singer Alysia Quinones. He throws down scorching riffs that she matches with runaway-train vocal intensity, while the rhythm section—bassist Matt Saleh and drummer Tom Gehlhaus—keeps the whole thing on the rails. The band starts off in a sultry mood on “Lil Momma,” with White playing fat, trebly chords and stinging, bluesy lead lines behind Quinones’ reverb-soaked voice while Saleh steers the song with a dialed-in bassline loaded with low-key funk.
Things get loud on “Open Door” with a massive, primal riff that falls somewhere between Led Zeppelin and the Stooges. It’s an opportunity for Quinones to show her vocal power, which is considerable: though it’s clearly a lo-fi production choice (and an appealing one), she sounds like she’s singing so hard that the microphone simply couldn’t handle her entire voice. Last song “Want It” splits the difference on a blues tune that alternates between slow-burning and butane-torch, with a guttural guitar riff and fiery licks pushing Quinones’s raw vocals over a thunderous rhythm part.
The downside to only releasing three songs at a time is that it doesn’t reflect the full scope of the band’s capabilities. Dig This! has a harder edge than some of Lovehoney’s previous EPs, which emphasized other dimensions of the band’s personality, particularly soul and funk. On the other hand, they’re abiding by that age-old show-biz maxim about leaving the audience wanting more. In this case, it’s more of everything: those riffs, her voice, and a deeper overall sense of what Lovehoney can do. Fortunately, the next installment is just a few months away.