I have a surprising amount of this sugar-sweet bubble gum indie-pop stuff in my CD collection.
These are albums full of light, breezy (and brief) tunes with doo-wop backing vocals, hi-energy choruses often from a male-female combo.
So far we’ve seen The Brunettes, Call & Response, as well as their 60s brethren. Some time in the middle of this century we might get to the Canadian masters of this stuff (The Salteens).
This here San Fran combo are slap bang in the middle of this genre, and mine its riches and are burdened with all its negatives.
The most upbeat, infectious tracks (Overcoat, Wonderful and Bub) hit the mark and evoke the silly Saturday afternoon shenanigans you’re looking for:
Elsewhere, the album is too restrained and slight to maintain attention. Songs wander past without you even noticing.
It turns out the lead man from this band went on to found the super successful musically-driven kids show Yo Gabba Gabba, which has a few appearances and contributions from the aforementioned Salteens (among many Indie-music types), including this rather terrifying number:
You can take this genre too far!!
File under: Beware of living life to its fullest
Posted in M
Tagged album, album review, Beach Boys, bubble gum pop, Call and Response, CD review, indiepop, Majestic, music, music review, pop, Salteens, Scott Schultz, The Brunettes
So we come to the end of our Liquor Giants four-play.
It’s been a mighty pleasant journey (if a little tardy). Ward Dotson and co-conspirators have cobbled together a wonderful pastiche of sounds from the 1960s and 1970s into a coherent and entertaining body of work.
This album sees the sound get a lot sunnier and sugary, with a distinctly Brian Wilson feeling, although beneath the heavy harmonising there is a sour bite as Dotson does seems a touch bitter about life (especially on Industry Hookers and All of the Assholes).
It isn’t all Hawaiian shirts and mental problems of course, with excursions into relatively primeval glam-garage rock on Mach Show, and solid power pop on Fifth Wheel Time.
Alas, the drought of LG video clips continues for this release, but I did find this short film build around an excellent track from their previous release:
In closing I will lament again the disappointing failure of the listening public to embrace the pop mastery of the Liquor Giants. The people have let themselves down…
File under: The populace are revolting
Sometimes the universal adulation for an album is so unrelenting that I eventually buckle under and buy the thing. This album is one such item. If I were playing the Rich List and was given the “greatest albums of all time as voted by ____ magazine”, I’d pick this first (unless it was a shooting mag, in which case I’d probably go for something by Ted Nugent).
The kudos for this opus seems to spring from its ahead of its time status. Well, I don’t live in 1966, and indeed reside in a world of stereo sound, samplers, effect pedals and the like. As such, don’t see what all the fuss is about.
There are a couple of catchy, well-written pop songs on here like Wouldn’t it Be Nice and God Only Knows. Most of the remainder of the album leaves me cold and a little bored. And Sloop John B is just horrible!
Ultimately I like my sugary pop a little more energetic and haphazard. This thing sounds like it was recorded, shined, polished and then shined again. Alas, it appears I am a Philistine… (or ahead of my time?)
File under: Good for credibility, but not the CD player.