Ah, you see, things do come out of Ohio sometimes.
Pretend You're Alive is an energetic mix of garage rock and electric alternative. The Strokes, my husband says they remind him of. A wanna-be Radiohead meets the Goo Goo Dolls, I say. It brings me back to 1995, grunge rock, flannels, and greasy hair. Yes, that was a good year. I like to reminisce.
Lovedrug is a four-man group from Canton, Ohio, and Pretend You're Alive is their debut album, released on July 27th. 13 tracks, all of which are pretty okay. The band is fronted by Michael Shepard, who writes the music and lyrics along with the bassist Adam Ladd. Shepard has a distinctive voice which is hard to describe, maybe a bit nasaly?
Lyrically, the songs are interesting. Avant garde. Experimental. Like one of those poems that sounds really intense, but when you think about it, you realize that it doesn't really make any sense. And then you wonder if the writer is being deep, or cryptic, or maybe he was just really high when he wrote it. But still, you have fun trying to decipher the words.
I listened to it all the way through, a few times actually, and I would listen to it again. But here's the thing, Pretend You're Alive is suffering from what I think of as Background Music Syndrome - it sounds okay, and you'd listen to it while doing the dishes, or writing an essay for philosophy class, but when it's all over, it's over. It might not leave the impression that would call you out of your bed at night to listen to it again.
I was told that they would be something like Coldplay. This comparison was probably made because of the one or two tracks that have a bit of piano. No, not Coldplay. Coldplay is musical Heaven. As is Radiohead. Lovedrug is making an attempt.