Lovers Who Wander

More than most run-of-the-mill Manhattan bar bands, these roots-worshiping Lower East Side buckaroos have always been overrated in New York (home to lots of rock critics), and this is their worst record by far. On Lovers Who Wander the Del Lords avoid even the common-man slogans and coffee-shop folk homages that provided momentary interest back in their deluded youth. Instead they stick with the unspecific rebellion-and-romance cliches that titles like ”Love on Fire” and ”The Wild Boys” suggest, drawled in bland harmonies above a dead-on-arrival drum pulse. The guitars aren’t horrible, switching between hillbilly twang, surf tremolo, garage raunch, and folk-pop chime. But even there, the insistence on fidelity to the long-gone American rock tradition only feels more insipid as history progresses. Compared to the sob stories that fill this record, your average Top 40 Phil Collins ballad is God’s gift to rock & roll. D

Lovers Who Wander
  • Music