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Lovedrug

Everything Starts... EP

(Self-released; US: 24 Oct 2006; UK: Available as import)

Aphrodisiac

Lovedrug is frustrating to a critic, because they’re really hard to categorize.  They can wear the emo-rock mask as well as the Brit-born Coldplay-spawn personae with equal aplomb.  Frontman Michael Shepard’s voice is a quivering tenor that some casual listeners can either take or leave, but the music is nothing to split opinions on—it’s strong no matter who they’re sounding like in any given song.  This tour EP and forthcoming album teaser truly jumps all over the place: “American Swimming Lesson” sounds ripe for Trent Reznor to tinker with (or cover), and “Ghost By Your Side” sounds like Coldplay at their most rollicking (aka their least X&Y).  Though the album teasers are delicious, the EP-only stuff is ballsy: Lovedrug somehow gets the nerve to cover Nirvana’s “Heart-Shaped Box”, and—against all solid logic—somehow manage to invert the original by redressing it as a Tori Amos-styled piano ballad while retaining every ounce of catharsis.  Even the too-long closer “The Praxter” manages to walk a tightrope between Blood Brothers-infected cabaret rock and their own sense of tidal-wave guitar choruses.  Though this teaser may just be foreplay for the upcoming full-length, never has foreplay felt so good.

Rating:

Evan Sawdey started contributing to PopMatters in late 2005, and has also had his work featured in publications such as SLUG Magazine, The Metro (U.K.), Soundvenue Magazine (Denmark), the Daily Dot, and multiple national newspapers. Evan has been a guest on RevotTV's "Revolt Live!" as well as WNYC's Soundcheck (an NPR affiliate), was the Executive Producer for the Good With Words: A Tribute to Benjamin Durdle album (available for free at GoodWithWordsAlbum.com), and wrote the liner notes for the 2011 re-release of Andre Cymone's hit 1985 album A.C. (Big Break Records), the 2012 re-release of 'Til Tuesday's 1985 debut Voices Carry (Hot Shot Records), and many others. He currently resides in Chicago, Illinois. You can follow him @SawdEye should you be so inclined.


Tagged as: lovedrug
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Lovedrug - Ghost By Your Side
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