Press Review: Carrie Pitzer, News Staff Writer, Norfolk, NE Daily News


May 7, 2008
Although Northeast Nebraska may be new to Louderthanlove, much of the state has already fallen in love with the Omaha-based band in the last three years.

Louderthanlove will join 3D: In Your Face '80s Tribute Band both Friday and Saturday night at The Depot. While 3D hits a home run with fan-favorite covers, Louderthanlove singer and guitarist Shawn Hicks told the Daily News in an interview this week his band specializes in uptempo, fun originals.

"We're a rock 'n' roll outfit. We lean a little bit toward southern rock sometimes and classic rock sounding but with a modern energy," Hicks said. "Basically, we're a straight-up rock 'n' roll band with a lot of influences, a lot of roots rock and a lot of stuff from the old days."

After sitting idle for a dozen years, Hicks joined brothers Jeff and Keith Bliven to form the band. All three have decades of experience playing. Hicks grew up in Marietta, Ga., and said he was influenced by his surroundings, giving him a rock and blues vocal style.

Hicks said that's also where much of his writing stems.

"I don't really reflect on current music for my own writing. I write what comes out, and that's mostly what I grew up with, which was in the mid-70s. That really impacted what I do," he said.

Although this is Louderthanlove's first time playing in Norfolk, Hick said he never worries about audiences being unfamiliar with the music. With the first couple of songs, some may wonder about the band, but he said by the end of the set, everyone is singing along and have a great time.

Plus, by playing back-to-back nights, Norfolk's audience will be very familiar with the songs.

"The songs are really listenable. They're easy to get into and jam out to them because they sound like what you'd listen to on the radio. It's a bunch of sing-a-long stuff," he said. "A lot of bands are looking for their own identity, so they do things as bizarre as they can, which is cool, but we're more accessible to people. We can turn somebody's ear on if they're 16 or 60."

While most bands boast up to six members, Louderthanlove is happy with just three. Jeff Bliven plays bass, while his brother, Keith, is on drums. That leaves Hicks double duty of vocals and guitar.

"We go with that three-piece power trio, flat out sonic assault. No metal, no country, just straight-out rock 'n' roll," he said. "It's a gathering of three guys on stage, but the sound is so big. I think that really gets people. The hooks in the songs are good. It's a lot of feel good music, which is good, especially in times like these."

Hicks likes to say the band is pretty straight-up, pointing to the name as proof. Hicks said his favorite early grunge album was Soundgarden's 1989 release "Louder Than Love," featuring Chris Cornell on vocals and drums.

Louderthanlove fits perfectly with what the band is all about.

"It's about what we do. The music is loud and it's about love. We sing a lot about girls, it's what I write about," Hicks said.

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106/21/2007 by Shawn

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