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Monday, December 01, 2014

Lovedrug -- Everything Starts Where It Ends

 photo 220px-Everythingstarts_zps19d7753f.jpg
9/10

Lovedrug's Everything Starts Where It Ends is an excellent rock album, though as I write this, I realize that the word "excellent" does not rock...wait a minute, Bill & Ted's Adventure was "excellent," and they always rocked. By the power of Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter, the word "excellent" does indeed rock, and therefore Lovedrug's Everything Starts Where It Ends is excellent.
Much like Bill and Ted, singer Michael Shepard's vocals, musicianship (along with the rest of the band), and songwriting are timeless. Shepard has a unique singing voice to say the least, marbley and scratchy and immensely listenable, much like the Wyld Stallions, themselves. Everything Starts Where It Ends can slow things down to get all piano balladish, but I add "ish" because they never go full Coldplay. You know what I'm saying. Dude.
I didn't mean to let Bill & Ted hijack or even appear in this review, but much like Bill & Ted, Everything Starts Where It Ends knows it needs to build up and resolve a nice little conflict. Henceforth, therefore, vis-à-vis, Lovedrug really outdo themselves with album climax, "Salt of the Earth" with clanking, marching percussion and piano, and great vocal work from Shepard. However, when dealing with Shepard and Lovedrug's lyrics. much like Bill & Ted, you often have no idea what the hell they are talking about. Still, Lovedrug manage to coin some powerful phrases. The album ends with the eight-minute self-titled track, which fakes out being a piano ballad, gets to marching, then closes with the powerful repetition of, "Wake up, you're alive, and we're on your side." Not as triumphant as Wyld Stallions, but still pretty excellent.

Since those two gnarly dudes stole the review away, I didn't get to mention the positive effect this album had on my life. My brother had just suffered through a bad break up at the time of Everything Starts Where It Ends' release, but I was also going through a time of intense personal change, and of letting a lot of things go that were out of my control. Between this Lovedrug album, Project 86's Rival Factions, some marathon sessions of that year's Doctor Who and The Shield seasons, and most importantly, some help from the Big Guy, Himself, I found peace pretty easily.

2007 The Militia Group
1. Happy Apple Poison 3:39
2. Pushing the Shine 4:19
3. Castling 3:25
4. Thieving 3:17
5. Bleed Together 3:27
6. Dancing 1:15
7. Ghost by Your Side 3:42
8. Casino Clouds 4:40
9. Doomsday and the Echo 5:11
10. Salt of the Earth 6:30
11. American Swimming Lesson 4:17
12. Everything Starts Where It Ends 7:45

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