Single Review: Lovedrug – Cult Kid! / Ray Gun
I’ve been on a bit of a Lovedrug kick lately. It all started back in December when I was at the Say Anything / Saves the Day concert and “Blackout” was played between sets sparking the need to listen to Lovedrug on repeat. Lovedrug’s last album, Wild Blood, dropped back in 2012 and was a staple of my essential music that year. The announcement of new music and a new album, NOTIONS, definitely got me pumped and I’ve been listening to the new singles, “Cult Kid!” and “Ray Gun,” non-stop since they were released.
Right away “Cult Kid!” shows off the signature atmosphere that Lovedrug crafts on each and every track they put out. Buzzing guitars launch into a catchy riff as layer upon layer builds up to Michael Shepard’s silky vocals. While I loved Wild Blood, these new singles go beyond anything accomplished on that album. The sound is bigger and more ambitious, mirroring the aspiration that Lovedrug set out with on their first album, Pretend You’re Alive. There were a lot of glimpses of this on Wild Blood, songs taken right to the brink of being anthemic and then pulling back before completely coming to fruition. On “Cult Kid!” we’re pushed to the edge again on the verses but thrown over the precipice when we hit the chorus where the guitar hooks are catchy as hell and lyrics like “I’ve got the cure if you’ve got the need,” demand to be shouted at the top of your lungs.
According to Shepard, “Ray Gun” started out as a bit of a joke as he tried to pack everything he loves about 80’s arena rock into it. “…But then I kept listening to it…and then I couldn’t stop listening to it! It’s an anthem for anyone who’s ever been a music-soaked nerd thinking about falling in love for the first time, and then thinking about it again twenty years later.” While I hear echoes of those 80’s rock anthems, this track has Lovedrug’s signature sound all over it. Layers of guitars kick the track off in a big way before backing off a bit so that Shepard’s voice can shine through. Again, it’s the chorus that truly requires the arena atmosphere to be fully appreciated.
Lovedrug once again produces a set of catchy singles dripping with everything that had me falling in love with the band back in 2004 when they first burst onto the scene with Pretend You’re Alive. It may have taken some time, but the wait for new music was well worth it and I’m waiting on the edge of my seat for Notions to have me worshiping at the Lovedrug altar once again.