Start By Letting Go
Lovedrug’s sophomore effort Everything Starts Where It Ends comes with a 4 track EP of stripped down, demo-caliber songs showcasing the band’s unplugged capabilities. The additional creativity not withstanding, their sound struggles for originality.Made up of Micheal Shepard (vocals, guitar, piano), David Owens (guitar), Korey Jones (bass), and James Childress (drums), Lovedrug are a talented troupe. There is nothing banal in the execution of their performances. Despite the bandâ€šÃ„Ã´s talent, they tend to play a little too safely within their comfort zone of great intros followed by dogmatic riffs punctuated by worried and whiney vocals that sound like a mix of Thom Yorke and Joanna Newsom. Occasionally this approach really takes off, as is the case with â€šÃ„ÃºGhost By Your Sideâ€šÃ„Ã¹ (track 7), which harkens back to R.E.M.â€šÃ„Ã´s IRS days.
The liner notes feature finely crafted watercolors of one or more stick figures, with thumb-shaped heads, engaged in some colorful state of being. The content of the lyrics revolves primarily around love and relationships. On the whole, the phrases are familiar but with an odd twist. Take, for example, the opening lines of the title track: â€šÃ„ÃºIf you are the cloud, then I am the snow / If you are the rain, then I will not grow / all of the esperity [sic] you have sown.â€šÃ„Ã¹ When was the last time you heard â€šÃ„Ãºasperityâ€šÃ„Ã¹ in a song?
Perhaps production is to blame for the bulk of the tracks on Everything Starts Where It Ends not striking a resonating chord. The songs, in sound and print, are clearly held close to Shepardâ€šÃ„Ã´s chest. Maybe a little breathing room is in order.