The electronic opening to “In Red” really gives Lovedrug a different sound than what would eventually win out on “Pretend You’re Alive”. The slightly sterile sound of the first minute of “In Red” morphs subtly into something that is a treasure trove of emotion and shows Lovedrug as a band that is ready for immense exposure on mTV and similar networks. Following tracks continue Lovedrug’s interesting blend of eighties electric pop with the emo genre; what results during tracks like “Blackout” is something that I feel that Ivy should have sounded like with their last album than exactly what happened.
The extended length of a track like “Blackout” would have crippled a lesser band, but Lovedrug takes the length in stride (for it is nearly the longest track on the disc) and moves deftly onto the acoustic-heavy “Spiders”. Lovedrug transcends simple genre classification and really shines in their own right. A track like “Pretend You’re Alive” is the strongest hit on the disc, and could conceivably be heard ringing from a dorm room just as easily as it could be in the hippest music stores all across the United States. The band switches up quickly, as “Pandamoranda” mixes together the deep lower end of bands like Queens of the Stone Age and Tool with a smart emotion that really is a high-performing Frankenstein’s monster at the end of the day. “Down Towards The Healing” seems to be a non starting track for Lovedrug until the impressive instrumentation comes into view soon after. The dreamy vocals on the track are bolstered immensely by the stringy bass lines and the plinking keys present on the track.
The atmosphere that is created at the beginning of “The Monster” sticks with the track longer than many bands would normally let it; this gives Lovedrug a sound that parallels early Cure or U2, while still having a somewhat current brand of sound to it (a little Placebo-esque, maybe?) There are a few other forays that Lovedrug makes into different genres on “Pretend You’re Alive”; a track like “Angels With Enemies” starts out quite like Jane’s Addiction before moving into a Live type of sound. What is really sad is that this album has been out over a year and the average listener still has not gotten wind of this band, which (if the world operated fairly) should be the next big thing. Search this album up and pick it up.
Top Tracks: Angels With Enemies, Blackout
Lovedrug – Pretend You’re Alive / 2004 The Militia Group / 13 Tracks / http://www.lovedrugmusic.com / http://www.themilitiagroup.com / Reviewed 05 January 2006