Lovedrug are band with droning (in a good way!) melodies, great guitar lines, solid bass lines and smackin' drums to boot.
Comparisons are made to Muse, Queen and other bands but the similarities are only skin deep and Lovedrug provide a new experience.
Each song tells a story, each song has a catch and is listenable for times to come.
So let's cut the crap and head straight for the songs.
01. In Red - 4:10
Opening track, and deservingly so! Intro drones in with some synth and effects, the bassist and drummer make their presences known and whispers can be heard along with the occasional string section. When the guitars come in it seriously starts rocking though. The drums make you want to dance, the bass makes you want to nod, the guitar makes you want to swing your arms around.
By the time the chorus comes around you'll be singing along with the heavily distorted vocals (which luckily doesn't occur often on the album).
02. Blackout - 5:41
Just when you might be thinking "Oh, In Red is probably the best track on the album" they throw this one in your face. The guitar riff at the beginning is a winner, and like most of the lovedrug songs very catchy. No distortion on the vocals this time, but a bunch of reverb, which just helps the high, almost squeaky (but once again, in a good way!) vocals to sound even greater.
Great song, not as upbeat and dance inducing as the first one, but still will get your headbanging along and singing along with the vocals.
03. Spiders - 3:10
Jumps straight into the song with acoustic guitar and vocals and reverb as always. One of the softer songs on the album but still as catchy as ever. Very radio friendly song (infact it even mentions the word "radio" in the song!) and a great song to chill to.
04. Rocknroll - 3:22
Hey! Here's what we want, more rock! More upbeat than the other songs and pretty much as the title says, it's Rock 'n' Roll. If they haven't made it apparent yet, Lovedrug love writing songs with a catch and this is no exception. Brilliant, solid, rock song and catchy as ever. After one listen you'll know the hook.
05. Pretend You're Alive - 5:11
Title track but sadly not one of the better ones. A bit slow to find its feet and not nearly as catchy as the others, but still a good song none the less.
It sounds very Coldplay-ish and like a lot of Coldplay songs it's a tad slow and boring, but not terribly.
The chorus is definitely where it excels and it'll be what will keep you listening.
06. Pandamoranda - 2:46
It's almost as if to make up for the slowness of the last song that they chuck in the most upbeat song on the album (and second shortest).
Nothing gets me headbanging more than this song. The wail of "wait" in the chorus is just awesome. The guitar riff is awesome, the drumming is awesome, the lead work is awesome, the vocals are awesome. It's just awesome.
It's just a pity it's so short.
07. Down Towards the Healing - 5:28
This song is an absolute stunner. If someone doesn't know how to build up a song, show them this song, brilliant. Piano and vocals to start. Gorgeous singing with heartfelt lyrics. The, albeit repetitive, guitar works incredibly well and plays off with the vocals. The song takes a step back and it's just piano, vocals and the occasional guitar strum, then it breaks out into this explosion of sound with the bass and drums joining back in. Brilliant.
Just as you think the song has met its peak they bring in the "Hallelujah, I'm not breathing" which is hauntingly awesome.
They could've just ended there but chose to end with piano and vocals, it works well.
08. The Monster - 5:06
Another catchy song. What more can be said, this band loves the hook! Harmonies provided in this song (as with many other songs) make it sound even better. Another great song that deserves many listens.
09. Angels with Enemies - 4:12
Another song. Another catch. Not quite as catchy or memerable as the other songs but still a good song on its own merit.
10. Radiology - 4:29
This song has an almost "A Perfect Circle - Meer de Nom" sound to it, until of course the vocals come in. Great song, one of the first released from Lovedrug on their soundclick website, new listeners might not find it as memerable as others. Lyrics are virtually impossible to understand (could have something to do with the effects on the voice), which when compared to Spiders and other songs is quite a difference.
11. Candy - 4:38
Solid song, will appeal to a more mainstream song than the rest with an almost poppy feel.
12. It Won't Last - 7:04
The longest track on the album, and it might feel like it too. Not the rockiest song on the album but still a decent one. The chorus and verses leave a bit to be desired.
The bridge is probably the highlight of this song. With what sounds like a hammond organ and the drummer playing a marching beat in the background it is very effective.
13. Paper Scars - 1:47
And to make up for the longest track on the album is the shortest track on the album. Whether it was planned that way or not is a mystery. This track is just there to finish off the album and you probably wont have this on repeat.
A damn solid effort from the classy quartet from Ohio. Having already played with internationally successful bands and artists like Switchfoot, The Killers, Hanson, Robert Plant, Something Corporate and Matchbook Romance the future could offer them international success.
*Take note that this review has been written by an Australian, and at the moment, he is the only Australian he knows that owns this CD. Thank God for the internet.