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  -  Lovedrug - Wild Blood (http://www.absolutepunk.net/showthread.php?t=2672652)

Jason Gardner 03/19/12 10:14 AM

Lovedrug - Wild Blood
 
Lovedrug - Wild Blood
Record Label - Self-Released / American Dream (Vinyl)
Release Date - March 6, 2012


Some records make themselves great by encompassing diversity around a particular genre. Others find a home in a certain vibe and while not quite as diversified are able to translate that vibe into something not only enjoyable, but ultimately relatable. Lovedrug’s new LP Wild Blood is a prime example of the latter. While certainly not a one-trick pony or a commanding race horse, the warmly glowing guitar melodies and smooth vocals make this worthy of a spin during a sun-soaked summer’s drive.

Lovedrug’s command of melody is what drives Wild Blood deep into your memory. The titular opener sounds like a loop, but its infectious guitar lines are tough to shake off when paired with steady, confident drumming. The chorus is what seals the deal though, as vocal melodies weave around these guitar line and create a web of optimism. “Pink Champagne” boasts similar vibes, using a solid rhythm section to back the sparse melodies that seemingly hit just as smoothly before bursting open with the chorus. Vocally, this one is a little hit and miss to anchor the track, as it would be nice to see guitarist/vocalist Michael Shepard open some of these lines up a bit more. Shepard’s poeticism is certainly appreciative though, as his wordplay and bouncing back and forth between that and dropping golden hooks (“Premonition”) only bolster the strength of many of these songs rather than dilute them with goofy metaphors and missed opportunities.

The acoustic-led “Girl” seems a better fit for the slightly shaking vocals, adding some light instrumentation in the form of strings to bolster the apexing chorus of the track. It is this structure and sound that is perfect for the slightly restrained vocal melodies heard throughout this album. “Great Divide” though shows the slower tempos don’t give the band’s sound as much justice as heard on earlier tracks, as the sparser melodies and laid-back drumming just don’t have the same effect as the toe-tap worthy songs we’ve already heard. Other switch-ups make up for it though, as the cadence-like drumming pushing “We Were Owls” is simple, yet strangely entrancing given a lack of cymbals and leniency towards repetition throughout in terms of songwriting. The tracks sunburst closing make its worth it though, with searing guitars to boot.

The only real qualm I can see with Wild Blood lies in perhaps the tendency to restrain things across the board perhaps a little too much. It doesn’t always sound that way, as a number of these tracks bring huge, bright choruses with vocal lines that shoot to the sky. But it would be nice to hear a little more vocal variety here and there. Sure, a song like the buzzing “Dinosaur” harnesses the low-brow vocals nicely under a veil of clicking rim hits and noodling guitars, but Shepard doesn’t hide that he can sing on Wild Blood – and the album would benefit from him perhaps taking a few risks in that department.

The interesting thing about Wild Blood lies in that it is incredibly easy to get sucked into the looping guitar melodies and overall sunny vibes this album gives off, even if the overall progression of structures and ideas tends to lend itself to only a handful of branches. But while Wild Blood isn’t some re-invention of summertime indie-rock, it is still a strong album you’ll be hard pressed to get out of your head.

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steve-0 03/19/12 11:16 AM

have only heard a couple songs off this and it didnt really grab me. I keep waiting for them to make an album as great as "Everything Starts Where it Ends" and I guess its just not gonna happen....

S9Dallasoz 03/19/12 11:35 AM

This is what I was wanted after "Everything Stars Where It Ends".

I love it.

spezialk 03/19/12 11:39 AM

Only 7's and 7.25's on this review? Are you kidding me? This album is brilliant. Title track sounds so JEW it's ridiculous, but so damn good at the same time.

GrapesIndigo 03/19/12 11:50 AM

This has a lower rating than the new say anything record. Shocked. Anyways, this record is really great.

drudo182 03/19/12 12:01 PM

I miss the piano this band used to incorporate into their tunes but I love this record overall. One of the bright spots of the year. They never really disappoint.

Would give it a solid 4 to 4.5.

ibelieveinjake 03/19/12 12:24 PM

Jason - I'm curious, how do you think the reworked versions of songs from the EP (Pink Champagne, Ladders, Owls, etc.) held up to the originals?

topher465 03/19/12 12:37 PM

I really liked the album, and agree with some of your points, but not all:

http://www.relevantmagazine.com/cult...rug-wild-blood

cbaksa 03/19/12 12:58 PM

Does anyone else hear the odd way he pronounces "s" sounds? It's like he's got a big wad of gum in his mouth or something. I'm not saying this facetiously - I honestly just want to know if anyone else notices it or if I'm going insane...

Ryan Gardner 03/19/12 01:27 PM

Nice review. Really digging this record

Jason Gardner 03/19/12 01:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by spezialk (Post 104974062)
Only 7's and 7.25's on this review? Are you kidding me? This album is brilliant. Title track sounds so JEW it's ridiculous, but so damn good at the same time.


Im stingy with my scores.

Jason Gardner 03/19/12 01:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by GrapesIndigo (Post 104974582)
This has a lower rating than the new say anything record. Shocked. Anyways, this record is really great.


Drew is entitled to his opinion, but my opinion of that album is much more harsh. Would have honestly gotten a score in the 40-50 range from me.

sweetforever 03/19/12 01:54 PM

Currently my AOTY, love this album to death.

indiesuperman 03/19/12 01:57 PM

Wow! Most disappointing review I've read in a long time. It reads kind of like the album wasn't given the attention it deserves before the review was written. This album absolutely deserves a higher rating. Mid-high 80s at least. There no doubt it's going to be one of the best albums of the year in my book.

Jason Gardner 03/19/12 02:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ibelieveinjake (Post 104976602)
Jason - I'm curious, how do you think the reworked versions of songs from the EP (Pink Champagne, Ladders, Owls, etc.) held up to the originals?


In general I liked these versions more. Pink champagne especially. The reworked production helps them fit in a little better too.

spezialk 03/19/12 02:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jason Gardner (Post 104981222)
Im stingy with my scores.

I can understand that, but compared to other albums that have come out in recent months, its marks should have been higher. The production is through the roof.. how THAT got a 7.75 , I don't know. Sure, the lyrics can get a bit corny at times, but musically it's sound and shows complete growth from previous efforts. It's the Lovedrug album I kind of was waiting for I suppose.. maybe that's why I'm so partial to it.

talitha, koum 03/19/12 02:52 PM

this review looks pretty accurate. good album, but not the breathtaking album i was hoping for. this band is probably in my top 10

Jonathan Bautts 03/19/12 02:54 PM

Love this album. Think it is in the same ballpark as Everything Starts as their best work, and is neck and neck with fun. for my favorite album of the year so far.

Jason Gardner 03/19/12 03:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by spezialk (Post 104985122)
I can understand that, but compared to other albums that have come out in recent months, its marks should have been higher. The production is through the roof.. how THAT got a 7.75 , I don't know. Sure, the lyrics can get a bit corny at times, but musically it's sound and shows complete growth from previous efforts. It's the Lovedrug album I kind of was waiting for I suppose.. maybe that's why I'm so partial to it.


I totally feel you. I don't want to start a big discussion over scoring but personally I want to make sure I can warrant giving albums those scores. I could not score it higher than say No Trigger which I enjoyed more. But I appreciate your concern, in any case im glad we can agree the album is good, yeah?

anamericangod 03/19/12 04:14 PM

Album of the Year for me thus far.

spezialk 03/19/12 05:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jason Gardner (Post 104988602)
I totally feel you. I don't want to start a big discussion over scoring but personally I want to make sure I can warrant giving albums those scores. I could not score it higher than say No Trigger which I enjoyed more. But I appreciate your concern, in any case im glad we can agree the album is good, yeah?


Jason, definitely enjoy the album.. it's just ranked SO LOW for being their best work to date and the best album released in 2012 currently. No negativity intended nor attacks, was just expecting 8.5's across the board at minimum.

Quote:

Originally Posted by anamericangod (Post 104989952)
Album of the Year for me thus far.


Thank you, someone on the same page.

Clark 03/19/12 05:33 PM

I know everyone hates rating discussions, but the production on this album is absolutely fantastic. And it was recorded live, which makes the quality even more phenomenal. Scoring is objective, but if you know anything about audio recording, you have to know you vastly under-scored the production.

GrapesIndigo 03/19/12 05:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jason Gardner (Post 104981642)
Drew is entitled to his opinion, but my opinion of that album is much more harsh. Would have honestly gotten a score in the 40-50 range from me.

Ah, I see. I'm glad you are not overly generous with your "rankings." The idea of ranking albums itself is questionable. The last song on this record is great. I'm excited to be opening for them in Chicago.

grimis16 03/19/12 06:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jason Gardner (Post 104981642)
Drew is entitled to his opinion, but my opinion of that album is much more harsh. Would have honestly gotten a score in the 40-50 range from me.

Okay that makes more sense. This is one of my favorites so far this year and is their best album since Everything Starts Where it Ends.

Pat 03/19/12 07:55 PM

the singer of this band looks just like dennis from always sunny

tiny vessels 03/19/12 08:42 PM

I really don't like how they changed Premonition and the other songs from EP Part One. Still excited to see them on Easter though.

TwelveTribes230 03/19/12 09:16 PM

73% really?

topher465 03/20/12 02:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jonathan Bautts (Post 104985712)
Love this album. Think it is in the same ballpark as Everything Starts as their best work, and is neck and neck with fun. for my favorite album of the year so far.


Pretend You're Alive will always be my favorite, although Everything Starts is an absolutely spectacular record.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jason Gardner (Post 104981222)
Im stingy with my scores.


I can appreciate that. I feel as if too many reviews on this site fall into the 80-90 range when they should be much lower. Just because a record gets a 73% does not mean it's bad. I do like Paste's rating system better than ap.net though.

Breathoffire 03/20/12 11:18 PM

7.5?

Wow. Way to fuck it up. This album was amazing.

tonywolfe 04/19/12 10:59 AM

Yeah, bro, I'm sorry, but your score is just waaaay too low by anyone's standards. This album should be the standard for summery, indie pop-rock albums this year. If you cannot bob your head when the guitar/bass comes in after the intro on Dinosaur, you have lost your mind. So freaking groovy. Ladders literally sounds just like Chase This Light JEW...his vocals even sound EXACTLY like Jim Adkins in the chorus. 73%? You wrote the review with good articulation, but your scoring system is off. Sorry, man. I just can't let you get away with way underselling one of this year's gems...