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by Luke Baumgarten & r & & r & & lt;span class= & quot;dropcap & quot; & I & lt;/span & f LOVEDRUG sounds like the title of an Alice in Chains song, you're onto something. It isn't, actually -- it's a band -- but Lovedrug still has that AiC flava. They don't sound remotely like Alice, either. They've got this faux-Britishness goin' on, oscillating between Radiohead and Coldplay in an intriguing way with a Britpop guitar and occasional piano aesthetic that's informed by the churn of classic rock.


So none of that's remotely like Alice in Chains, but I swear the first thing I said when I popped their CD in was "Whoa, 'Down in a Hole.'"


It's bizarre, and upon reflection, I think it has something to do with the lyrics' dark, early-'90s hard rock edge sung in a very Layne Staley-ian sex moan: "If these be the black gates of hell / then I'm sorry for the life I've wasted." Yeah, that's it.





Lovedrug at Big Easy's Bourbon Street on Sunday, Nov. 5, at 7:30 pm. Tickets: $10. Visit www.ticketswest.com or call 325-SEAT.





Uh-oh! Here's another almost-paradoxical band name to add to the heap: THE CASUAL LUST. Clever guys.


Psych.


It's a bizarre name because their music is neither casual nor lusty. It's more like a ghost story told in the parlor of a homesteader's steep-roofed Queen Anne -- rickety and off-putting but well constructed. Singer Yes Lust (arrgh, they're killing it for me) has a shrinking, almost Irish lilt that descends at times into an all-out wail. It's not unlike that cut from the Cold Mountain soundtrack, except clearly not penned by Sting.


Seth Lust's unhurried, repetitive percussion and the way the guitar often Mickey Mouses Yes harmonies before itself turning propulsive gives the whole thing a sound rooted deep in folk traditions. You seriously shouldn't let the name deter you from coming out.





The Casual Lust with Mark Ward and Zavala Lopez at Caterina Winery on Thursday, Nov. 2, at 8 pm. Tickets: $4. Call 328-5069.








Most angry, unhappy teenage girls who dress military/industrial quasi-goth and who want to express that anger in song generally pick up a guitar. I mean, I guess that's true of dudes as well -- guitar moves everything around us, to borrow from Method Man. So it's a moot point, but what I'm trying to get around to is this: LENNON's piano-inflected rock is kind of a nice change in a genre that's so predictably a guitar-driven substitute for a diary. That's not to say that her music isn't a stay-strong confessional -- it totally is. It's just got a bit of keys.


The media's (Rolling Stone to Maxim) branding of her as a metal chick, though, is totally off-track, owing more to her look and marketing than her sound. She's a pop artist in the vein of a less punk Avril with a hint of label-added rock riffage meant to place her somewhere between Creed and Joan Jett. An unsuccessful attempt, but a crassly valiant (corporate) one.





Lennon at Big Easy Bourbon Street on Monday, Nov. 6, at 7:30 pm. Tickets: $10. Visit ticketswest.com or call 325-SEAT.
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