Lovedrug - The Sucker Punch Show
Record Label: The Militia Group
Release Date: October 28, 2008
Never, ever sucker punch anyone, especially your fans. Yeah, I’m talking to you Lovedrug.
Okay, I’m not being fair. Lovedrug didn’t sucker punch me. I highly doubt they’ve sucker punched anyone, ever. But I can’t help but be disappointed in the band’s third full length effort, The Sucker Punch Show. But can I be to blame? People make comparisons, always weighing one thing against another, one album against another, one show against another. In assessing the value of any piece of work, one must consider the artist’s previous efforts. And this is unfortunate for Lovedrug, who in all seriousness haven’t written a bad song in almost 10 years, and whose first album, Pretend You’re Alive, is on my top ten of all-time list.
Trust me. I’m not trying to trivialize this album. But it’s hit or miss when it comes to the high bar the band has set with its previous releases. The album opener, “Let It All Out,” is piano-less and moody in verse and grungy in chorus. The drums sound chintzy and the bass is pushed too far into the foreground. On “Broken Home,” vocalist Michael Shepard croons, “She’s a slut, I noticed” in a bit of a sarcastic melody held throughout the song; the lyrics are honest, but lack tact. “My World” continues the mediocrity as a song that never really gets going, lacking the emotion and depth the band has built itself upon. “Everyone Needs A Halo,” however, is absolutely awful, and as cynical, angry, and shocking as the band has ever been. You may like that type of thing, but the lyrics push the song over the edge with Shepherd warbling, “I’m a bad dream/I’m a wet dream/We’re the semen that comes out way to fast.” This is Nirvana-wannabe Lovedrug.
However, like I said, the album is hit or miss, with half falling into the mediocre range and the other half following into the above-mediocre range. Tracks like “Only One” and “Borrowed Legs” contain the signature Shepard vocals and signs of better songwriting and mood. “Blood Like” is a fantastic piece, utilizing a straightforward piano rhythm and an envelope of atmosphere as Shepherd sings “Stare at the ocean while you’re friends all drown/We all need to learn to swim anyway.” “Panicked Witness” may be the gloomiest song the band has ever written, commanded by a downright somber piano melody and utterly distraught vocals. Despite the sorrowful feel, the piece is much bigger than the rest of the album and ironically takes the position as one of the album highlights. The album closer, “Dying Days,” a coda marked singularly with piano and Shepherd’s mouse-like voice seemingly coming out of a radio, ends the album in funereal fashion, as if Shepherd’s on his deathbed, singing “These are my dying days/Turn off the spotlight/It wasn’t mine anyways.”
I’m sure Lovedrug didn’t want to make a Pretend Your Alive Pt. II or an Everything Starts Where It Ends Pt. II either. But with this in mind, I question whether The Sucker Punch Show is the next logical step for the band. It’s evident that the loss of guitarist Dave Owen and bassist Korey Jones have spawned new visions, some of which are angrier and more cynical, trading in mood and atmosphere for dirty sounding guitars and volume. But then again, this is the same band who had their van and trailer stolen, stripped, and then burned. But Lovedrug haven’t shed their entire identity just yet. Songs like “Fake Angels” bear the dramatics of Lovedrug which we come to know and love, but songs like “The Dirtiest Queen” and “Everyone Needs A Halo” show the band in a new light, almost as if they're trying to prove they're tough because they play guitar licks and talk about semen in their songs. With that, The Sucker Punch Show is a take it or leave it type of record. It’s still Lovedrug, don’t get me wrong on that—it’s just not that good.
I Think that your wrong. When i got my copy of the sucker punch i didnt like it but now that i have listern to it through more than once i think that it has the bit of omf. That the Other Albums Sorely lack. Its a bit like a slap in the face.In My opinion it is the best Album. It adds Variety to the bands Discography were it was becoming a little repeditive and boreing.