It’s been a crazy, yet rewarding, past few years for Lovedrug. The band from Ohio, settled down in Nashville, funded their own album, took full creative control of their career, and ultimately delivered a strong album with this week’s long-awaited release of Wild Blood. From the opening notes of the title track to the riveting close of the beautiful final track “Anodyne” it’s a powerful, passionate and very “real” album.
The Alternative Rock veterans have had previous releases with Columbia and Militia Records which were received with modest levels of success. This time, they went with a creative fan-funded approach that gave the band total freedom and full responsibility for the final product, and clearly, it works. Lead singer Michael Shepard offered “We’ve been a band for ten years now, but at the same time, this feels like our first album. We feel like a new band, and that same energy is still there and I feel like it’s becoming even more intense.”
Shepard’s unique voice is back in fine form, but the real power to Wild Blood is the fantastic guitar work throughout by both Shepard and Jeremy Gifford. The band also took a different approach to recording this album, where the full band played the songs together rather then later meshing together the independent tracks as most other recordings do these days. Coupled with bassist Thomas Bragg and drummer James Freshwater, the band sounds cohesive and passionate.
The album features some fantastic anthemic rock, particularly “Wild Blood,” “Ladders,” “We Were Owls” and “Pink Champagne.” “Dinosaur” is another fun sound that is likely to bounce around in your head for days after listening to it.
“Your Country” and “Premonition” are my personal favorites. Both feature a great, fresh sound that actually reminds me musically of early 90’s U-2 guitar work. In “Your Country,” the lyrics and chorus are addictive and the message resonates with the struggles most Americans are faced with during these difficult times. “Premonition” offers Shepard’s finest vocal work and has a great real “budding relationship” feel to it.
Wild Blood closes powerfully with the emotional “Anodyne,” a musical olive branch offered to a troubled soul. Strong, powerful stuff, and a great way to close the album.
There are a few mediocre tracks mixed in, but overall, it’s an excellent album (check it out below)
Rock On! Cretin
Interested in learning more about front man Michael Shepard: Check out this interview from late 2011.