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originally published: 08/19/2022

Upside down love published To pretend DaDa Drumming Records lives on August 19, 2022. The 10-track album was produced and mixed by Andres Karu, and mastered by Drew Lavyne/All Digital Mastering. It features performances by Michael Ferentino, Andres Karu and Dave Halpern. All songs were written by Michael Ferentino.

Michael Ferentino says, “I started writing most of the songs for the new album, To pretend, right before the pandemic hit in 2020. Most of the lyrics on this album are poetic attempts to exorcise personal demons while keeping the context broad enough to remain accessible to all listeners. The overall music and vibe of the record is a throwback to some of our early 90s alternative rock sounds, while trying to stay relevant in the popular music landscape of the 2020s.”

In the mid-90s, Michael Ferentino and Andres Karu, the New York/New Jersey-based dark electronic art rock duo known as DOG, performed and gained impressive followings at some of the most iconic clubs. from NY and NJ, including CBGB, the Bitter End, the Stone Pony and the Limelight. DOG quickly evolved into 3-piece indie/art rock/space rock band Love in Reverse, signed to Jon and Marsha Zazula’s Crazed Management (former owners of Megaforce Records) which led the band to a lucrative deal with Warner/Reprise Records. Love in Reverse has recorded three critically acclaimed albums with Warner/Reprise (two with legendary producer Russ Titelman and one mixed by Grammy Award winner Jason Corsaro and co-produced by NIN producer John Fryer).

In 1996 and 1997 they toured with Gravity Kills, Stabbing Westward, Republica and The Cult’s Ian Astbury. They also played several radio festivals with artists ranging from the Spin Doctors and Tonic to the Deftones and Joan Jett. The band’s video for “I’m a Contradiction” was featured on MTV’s 120 Minutes and the video for “Blueprint for a Possible Song” was included on the sampler DVD for Sony’s first commercially available DVD player. Love in Reverse was also featured with Peter Frampton on the Meredith Viera ABC television news show, “Turning Point”.

After three albums with Warner/Reprise, Love in Reverse disbanded and evolved once more into The Amazing Meet Project, a band that was described by Matt Pinfield of MTVs 120 Minutes as “putting the alternative in alternative rock! During this period, Ferentino and Karu scored the Kevin Smith-produced thriller “A Better Place,” a gritty, violent film that became an underground cult classic. Their music has also been featured in “Time of Your Life”, the TV spin-off “Party of Five” featuring Jennifer Love Hewitt and several MTV specials Among a number of positive media articles featuring the band , Rolling Stone named Love in Reverse as one of 6 Promising New Groups of 1996.

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Over the next few years, Ferentino and Karu experimented with a myriad of projects, including the loud electronic lo-fi garage band, Corduroy Poo-Poo, the spoken word experiment, Speak the Worms, the Diablo project with Jai Diablo from Interscope Records sludge rock/stoner metal band, Dragpipe, and ambient/experimental electronic band, Bedtime for Robots. In 2002, they teamed up with The Wonder Stuff frontman Miles Hunt for a collaboration called Miles Hunt Club. Karu also became drummer and producer for Wonder Stuff in the mid-2000s while Dave Halpern played drums for several artists, including the BeeGees. Ferentino continued with Bedtime for Robots, releasing several acclaimed albums and tracks throughout the 2010s and into the 2020s. Bedtime for Robots was featured in Fangoria magazine and their music was regularly featured on DOOMED Radio, Soma FM and several underground Internet radio broadcasts around the world.

In 2020, during the initial lockdown of the coronavirus pandemic, Ferentino, Karu and Halpern put the finishing touches on an album they had been secretly working on for two years and self-released the reformed album Love in Reverse, I’m an Illusion, who brought them to the attention of Ferentino’s childhood friend and owner of Dada Drumming Records, a Texas independent label specializing in noise, sludge rock and stoner metal. Seeking to broaden the label’s horizons, Dada Drumming signed the band, now focusing on a return to their guitar-driven indie art rock sound. In 2021, the band put the finishing touches on their newly recorded and arguably strongest album to date, To pretend.

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