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Articles Home » 1986 Articles » Loose, The - 1986 Watcher
Loose, The - 1986 Watcher

ARTIST: Loose, The
ALBUM: Watcher
LABEL: Self Released
YEAR: 1986


LINEUP: Keith Lee - guitar, lead vocals * Phil Potter- bass, vocals * Jon Davis- drums, vocals * Greg Conner- guitar, vocals * Rod Koehler - keyboards, vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 The Watcher * 02 Running For Love * 03 Too Many Words * 04 This Dream Dies Hard * 05 Every Night's A Party * 06 The Great Awakening * 07 Towers Of Steel

Nebraska has never been known as a rock 'n roll hot spot, but when it comes to AOR there have been several bands of interest from the 'Cornhusker State'. Names like the female fronted Hit 'N' Run, pomp rockers Kickin as well as Sky Dancer who released an excellent Styx influenced album 'Alive' in 1977 are just three bands that called Nebraska home. Off course we can't forget the subject of this review - The Loose who hailed from state's largest city - Omaha and managed to release an indie mini-LP and a hard-to-find cassette in the late 80's. For many collectors The Loose came to our attention via 'AOR Classics' and the Rare Ass Records catalog which always carried the more elusive AOR Indies, over-priced as they were. Fortunately, I came across a still-sealed copy of the 'Watcher' album a few years ago in a second-hand shop and didn't have to take out a bank loan to make my purchase.

The Songs
Housed in a typical 80's low budget sleeve with fluorescent hot pink lettering and on the back cover a grainy photo of The Loose dressed in the decade's traditional AOR finery including shoulder padded jackets, vests and obligatory mustachios; you pretty much know what you're going to get before the needle lands on the plastic. With pedestrian production and a clutch of average songs I'm hedging my bets why these guys never broke out of the Omaha/Council Bluffs, Iowa club circuit. Tunes like the title track and the up-tempo 'Running For Love' seriously lack character, although I am mildly fond of the majestic ballad 'Too Many Words' which recalls Night Ranger at their mid-80's peak. On the flip 'Every Nights A Party' turns out to be as embarrassing as its title and bar band fodder at its worst although the last two songs save the day with the Huey Lewis & The News sound alike 'The Great Awakening' and the pomp-ish 'Towers Of Steel' although overall The Loose like so many indie AOR bands before them, lacked the personality and song writing prowess to land that elusive and all important major label deal.

In Summary
A cassette release followed and apparently there were attempts as misguided as they were to land a deal with a bigger label, but no one was fooled. Still, I'm sure 'Watcher' is as sought after now as it was in the late '90s, but you can't say I didn't warn you.

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#1 | englandashes on January 13 2011 12:31:57
Still have one of those Rare Ass Records catalogues, and been fooled by them a number of times (always an interesting read though), but this one was always one that prompted my attention....although another one I never managed to get hold off.
#2 | gdazegod on January 13 2011 13:19:55
So Chris, judging by Eric's review, are you still keen on tracking this down?
#3 | Eric on January 13 2011 13:44:08
Seek out Sky Dancer's album. A cool blend of Styx and Uriah Heep and a bit rough around the edges. From what I can gather they were from Lincoln- Nebraska's capital. By far- the best thing I've heard from the state....
#4 | englandashes on January 14 2011 13:37:00
Yes George, probably that I would like it in my collection orignates from a time when their was a large amount of records to collect, but in my case no alot of funds or opportunity to obtain a copy, and this one being one of the unfound!, probably fooled by the sales pitch and high price from the likes of Rare Ass etc, however it's interesting to get a far view of what the album is like, and like many times Eric and yourself has banished the myth about albums like this, therefore the pre-conceived view of you must have this at any cost,in somewhat diluted, but all the better for.
#5 | super80boy on February 15 2013 03:01:52
Just upgraded my copy to a nice SS copy and there are some good moments on this rare private press. The clear standout is the uptempo synth inflected 'The Great Awakening'.
#6 | gdazegod on September 16 2016 00:27:17
This has been recently found on the Net. I have tidied up the song titles, cleaned out some unnecessary images, and reupped on my Mega account. 192 kbps. Hidden link.
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