Bubblegum Lemonade – Sophomore Release

Rating: ★★★½ ·

You probably can search the Internet for a good deal of time before you discover a lot on Bubblegum Lemonade, the Scottish group from Glasgow, who are currently part of the incredible roster on Matinee Recordings.  We do know the band is fronted by Laz, who does work with some other groups, and that he’s a 12 string Rickenbacker enthusiast.  Other than that, all you really need to know is that he’s released his second full-length, aptly titled, Sophomore Release; on top of that, it’s just one heck of a good listen.

If you’ve been following the band, you’ll luckily notice the gem “Caroline’s Radio” from this year’s 7″ of same name.  This song features crystal clear pop guitars, with a bit of distortion in the middle, and casually gentle vocals.  Everything about this song echoes the band’s name, it’s pure bubblegum pop, in the greatest way possible.  Personally, I dig the way the band sounds tight, as if you’re in the recording studio with them, as they stop and start at various moments throughout the song.  Following this up, you’ll find a nod to another Glaswegian band, namely that of Teenage Fanclub, on “Maybe Someday.”  Melodies are similar, though Bubblegum Lemonade seems like the squeaky clean younger brother, crafting harmonies, but weary of cramping big brother’s style.

“You Only Leave Twice” is one of the song’s on the record that will immediately jump out at you.  Up until now, Sophomore Release has had classy power pop jangles, but this song is more of a fire pit type track, featuring some tribal rhythms and acoustic strumming.  Female backing vocals add another dimension, giving the impression that we’re all sitting around in a circle happily bringing joy to one another.  Skip ahead a few tracks and you’ll find the catchy “Alice Please.”  There’s some effects running on the vocals that provide a bit more distortion, making this a heavier song, which fortunately goes along with the number’s thematic issues.

If you listen to the entire album from start to finish, you’re likely to discover that the entirety goes by quite breezily, yet brings you an undervalued sense of happiness.  Songs like “Autumn Sky” just have this understated beauty, perfected by our man Laz here.  It’s got a bit of atmospheric coating, yet done in such an innocent way that you’ll surely picture the singer giving you a smirk from behind the master tapes.  Or perhaps you’ll find yourself falling in love with “When She Goes,” which uses some psychedelic guitar lines and female backing vocals to fit in just another moment of whimsical exuberance to Sophomore Release.

From start to finish, this album doesn’t offer you a bad track, nor one that you can skip as you look for that hidden gem.  Everything about the delivery, the innocence and the magic of pop music lives within the walls of Sophomore Release, which should make us all rejoice in the fact that secretive figures craft some of the most incredible power pop that will ever fall on our ears, so cheers to that Bubblegum Lemonade.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/bubble10.mp3]

Download: Bubblegum Lemonade – You Only Leave Twice [MP3]

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