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Lovedrug 

Everything Starts . . . EP (www.Lovedrugmusic.com)

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Wounded creatures can be the most dangerous. Take Lovedrug: The Canton group's elaborate indie pop, featuring frontman Matthew Shepard's warbly, high-pitched croon and lead piano, sounds tougher than most modern rock. Not only does his take on Nirvana's "Heart Shaped Box" invite comparisons to Jeff Buckley, it also sounds as disarmingly fractured as the original.

This is par for the course when listening to Lovedrug's shimmering new EP, a sampler of an upcoming LP (liner notes promise it'll be out by February) that's far more emotive than any emo and harder-rocking than Radiohead has been this century. And though the band has since shuffled its lineup, this disc features the original rhythm section of bassist Adam Ladd and drummer Matthew Putman. Letting them leave must have been tough, but a guy who can lay down anything as beefy as the bass line from "American Swimming Lesson" can do whatever he wants.

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