Written by Jake Nelko
Lovedrug released their newest album, Wild Blood, earlier this year. For a band that has seen
transformation in terms of personnel, changing styles, and shifting inspirations, this album has
been a victory in creative liberty and rebirth. On top of that, the music is fantastic and reminds
one of the old Lovedrug that provided mystery and hope in their product.
Let’s start with the music. Wild Blood is full of purposeful electric guitar hooks, Frontman
Michael Shepard got a lot off his chest with their previous release, The Sucker Punch Show,
which allowed for a simpler musical endeavor on their follow-up. SPS was a bit of a closing
of a chapter for Lovedrug, which was followed by three EPs that contributed to the eventual
production of Wild Blood. The lyrics are a lot of what we’ve come to expect from Lovedrug;
introspective and ambiguous while hopeful at the same time. Shephard sings in “Pink
Champagne”, “you were always my sure shot, picking up dirt in the wrong bars” before
proclaiming love for the one who deserves a second chance and sings to a “sweet love” in one of
the most popular tracks, “Girl”.
With Wild Blood, Lovedrug have come together as a cohesive unit after four years of playing
together. This album saw the band creating songs together with a melody or a hook to start and a
jam session to follow. Shepard penned the 2004 debut, Pretend You’re Alive, on his own, which
felt more like Shepard’s own beautiful masterpiece. As the years have progressed, Lovedrug
have turned into a band of creators who each had a significant part in creating their latest release.
Wild Blood was produced, promoted, and released without the benefit (or, in some cases,
hindrance) of a record label. It’s clear that this complete independence has created an
environment where Lovedrug have advocated for themselves by booking shows and doing all of
their own promotion. Their hearts are clearly in this album and their dedication to its developing
success is obvious in the product.