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Bubblegum Lemonade

Susan’s In The Sky E.P. (Matinee)

By • Oct 24th, 2008 • Category: Single review

Bubblegum Lemonade have chosen (or saddled themselves with) a name that may well have got them lynched in the 80s. It’s not the greatest name ever (unless it’s a tribute to Baby Lemonade and Bubblegum Splash) and seems a little twee. Musically, they are more robust than their moniker would suggest. ‘Susan’s In The Sky’ is a neat slab of catchy 60s inflected guitar pop, mixing a surf feel with the girl group sound and augmented by a fuzzy warm bass, with dumb teenage lyrics such as ‘In the summer we’ll take the long road in your father’s car / In the summer in your father’s car we’ll sleep beneath the stars’. ‘Surfin’ USB’ is a cool revamp of the Marychain’s early surf fixation (‘Kill Surf City’ and their cover of ‘Surfin’ USA), giving the form a West Coast (of Scotland) twist:

“Monday morning raining down
Monday’s plans are all at sea
Everyone’s surfin’ USB.”

It even has some cool “Woo-ooo-eee-ooo” vocals towards the end. ‘Just Like You’ has a livelier sound with more of an edge to it’s frazzled, fuzzed-out guitars and is my favourite song on the E.P. “Holocaust’ is the latest instalment of Glasgow’s Big Star / Alex Chilton love-in. In its original form it’s one of the bleakest songs ever and Bubblegum Lemonade’s mid-tempo version captures the dark beauty at the heart of the song. With the exception of ‘Holocaust’, no song passes the three-minute mark. Almost perfect pop. However, my only criticism of this E.P. is that the production sounds rather flat and a little lifeless, as though the band were scared to let loose in the studio, that they were so focussed on getting the songs ‘perfect’ that they lost some of their energy and edge. That aside, this is still an enjoyable, fun record.

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