Love Experts 

Saturday, January 31; Off Broadway

If absence really makes the heart grow fonder, St. Louis music fans ought to be absolutely enamored with the Love Experts. Since 1988 this on-again, off-again collective has taken local stages something like fifteen times, always leaving its small but rabid fan base breathless for more.

The Love Experts are a vehicle for the songs and passions of frontman Steve Carosello, who expects music to be big and bold and full of emotional power. Fortunately, he gets this from everyone who's ever been in the band with him; the Love Experts generally make at least one personnel change every time they take a year or more off from playing. Currently the lineup includes mainstays Dominic Finocchio on guitar and Steve Scariano on bass, third-year veteran Dave Collett on guitar and prodigal son/original member Bob Trammell just now returning on drums.

Intricate, interlocking guitar licks from Finocchio and Collett, often aided by counterpoint from Scariano, who locks in rhythmic fusion with Trammell, back up Carosello's intensely emotional and richly melodic vocals. Those who have seen this band even twice are known to go around singing songs like "Your Shining Hour," a catchy, soaring number referring to the act of getting one's member immortalized by Cynthia Plaster Caster. The Love Experts always pay homage to their influences, too, having covered material from the likes of Hunters and Collectors, the Bangles and ABBA over the years.

Word is the band may play a few times this year, but it never pays to take a chance and miss one of the Love Experts' shows, as they are all too few -- and always great.

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