Review of Pretend You're Alive Album by Lovedrug

Pretend You're Alive
The Militia Group
Album Review

Lovedrug Pretend You're Alive Album

Formed in June 2002, Ohio quartet Lovedrug took only 2 months before releasing their first EP. Fronted by Michael Shepard, they've shared stages with Something Corporate, The Killers, and the legendary Robert Plant.

A booming bass line introduces "In Red", a track that's uninteresting until finally picking up with some rip-roaring guitar playing. Shepard has a high-pitch voice that borders on the wrong side between unique and boring, resembling a timid child trying too hard to be heard, but it may be to some people's taste. Musically, Lovedrug continue to impress on "Blackout", a slow-tempo and dynamic tune with a huge chorus. The obligatory acoustic moment is "Spiders", which passes by harmlessly enough, and then there's the appropriately titled "Rocknroll". Featuring an infectious hook, it's let down by a less impressive chorus. "Pretend You're Alive" has an intro not unlike Coldplay's "In My Place" and is just as tedious, and then the band, seemingly from nowhere, throw out a massive kick-ass riff for the imposing but disjointed "Pandamoranda".

It's typical of a band who are just building momentum to step in another direction, and that's exactly what Lovedrug do with the jazz-influenced "Down Towards The Healing". Far from a bad track, its only flaw is that the ballad it develops into doesn't capitalise on the vigour of the previous track. "Angels With Enemies" stumbles and ultimately falls, but "Candy" proves a showcase for the band's musical talent. A solemn piano intro gives way to a captivating melody intertwined with booming drums and engrossing guitar lines. It signals a band who, when they get it right, have the ability to produce high quality songs – it's just a shame they're so inconsistent.

Alex Lai

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