County Grind is counting down the best local albums in South Florida. Monitor our progress here.
Time to embrace Love Handles, one of the umpteen projects featuring the prolific team of lead singer/guitarist C.J. Jankow and organist/drummer Jordan Pettingill. In addition to the guys' gifts for sly, deadpan wordplay and spooky harmonies often exactly an octave apart, they've assembled some of the grandest underground bills in South Florida this past year at their Lake Worth warehouse practice space, Club Sandwich.
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Compared to the fiercer Cop City/Chill Pillars, Jankow and Pettingill's other outfit, Love Handles songs are loose, undistorted punk statements that range from literal ("What's That Smell?") to the realm of twisted, psychedelic metaphor ("Byrd Brain"). If able, the prickly Modern Lovers' Jonathan Richman would probably crack a grin upon hearing the snail-slow "Dance Hard," which adds the edict to "love harder."
None of this so far expresses the live gifts of Love Handles. You try playing drums and organ at the same time, tiger. "Take It" is often the crowd-riler of any show, with Jankow offering up his job, car, love, and life, and after each, shouting "take it," and cockily adding "keep it." Given that Faith, Hope & Love Handles (and a bonus track) emerged as a free download earlier this year, it's high time to spread the Love far and wide.
Top Track: "Take It"