Sunday, 30 January 2011

Album Review: Bubblegum Lemonade - Sophomore Release

[Matinee, 2010]

Taking a lot from both the Byrds-ian jangle of early Sarah bands and the fuzz-pop of the Jesus & Mary Chain, Bubblegum Lemonade are clearly influenced by a lot of their Scottish forebears. Mostly the work of just one man, Laz McCluskey, with the occasional female backing vocal, the LP and EPs they've released so far have been choc-a-block with pop classics, and this second album (see what they did there?) is more of the same. Opening song and lead single 'Caroline's Radio', a reference to the pirate pop radio station Radio Caroline, gets the album off to a great start, with a great melody and a definite Teenage Fanclub vibe. The rest of the album continues in a similar vein - there isn't a bad track here, and McCluskey doesn't fall into the trap of so many indiepop bands of making it very hard to distinguish between the songs. It all sounds just like McCluskey is having fun, throwing bongos, tambourines and glockenspiels into the mix at varying points on the record.

This album is easily identifiable as a Matinee Recordings release. Matinee were formed in the late 90s as a way of reviving the classic jangle pop sounds of labels like Sarah and Creation. This album is a definite part of that lineage - there really is nothing new here at all, and it's unlikely anyone will be listening to it in even 2 years' time, but for now it is just a fun record with great catchy tunes and jangly guitar. I can see Bubblegum Lemonade continuing like this for a while - even though it is extremely unlikely they'll ever release a hit record, they could well carve out a cult following in this bubblegum pop niche.

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