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Indie, Noise, Shoegaze… Music

Strawberry Wiplash mostraron sus credenciales Pop con “Stuck in the never ending now” (Matinée, 2015)

Stuck In The Never Ending Now CD

Los escoceses Strawberry Wiplash (Sandra y Laz, de Bubblegum Lemonade, otra de nuestras bandas adoradas en TJB), se consolidaron en el mundo del Pop luminoso con este Stuck in the never ending now (Matinée, 2015); un segundo disco en el que el dúo se muestra mucho más afianzado en sus composiciones, aunque quizás adolezca de esos estribillos más rotundos que aparecían en su debut (Hits in the car, 2012), -no por gusto recibía ese título-.
Stuck… es un disco donde el gusto por el Pop rutilante de siempre no desaparece, antes bien se adorna de un halo de Twee y C86. Laz McCluskey es un compositor brillante, obsesionado por la melodía, y de éso hay mucho en este trabajo. Y en breve lo retomaremos con el nuevo Ep de Bubblegum Lemonade

“Opening track ‘Every Day The Sun Shines Brighter’ starts things off in optimistic fashion with a melodic song about new beginnings, while ‘If Surface Were Depth’ is catchy, playful pop and ‘Too Close To Call’ is a harmonious, multi-layered soundtrack to an indie spaghetti western.
‘Never Ending Now’ is immediately engaging punky pop with scratchy, fast guitars, more great harmonies, and rapid gunfire drumming. ‘Ride The Waves To The Shore’ has a shimmering, bossa nova beat with major seventh chords and groovy bongo backing, while ‘Time Takes You Away’ is all late night New York cool with chugging guitars and a Velvet Underground vibe.
Side two kicks off with the album’s fastest track ‘Halcyon Morning’ providing us with a future indie disco floor filler with C86 fuzzy guitars, a steady drumbeat, and tambourines all racing towards the song’s instrumental coda. ‘All I Ask For Is Everything’ furthers the eclectic mix with a chiming guitar / glockenspiel blend and an incessant back beat reinforcing the selfish nature of the song, while ‘Fly Me Over The Rooftops’ is soaring, immediate pop with detached male backing vocals.
‘A Brave New Scene’ is elegant, multi-layered pop that twinkles and chimes in all the right places, while the funky bass line in ‘Life’s Rich Tragedy’ breaks right through the fourth wall in this musical romp involving an unfaithful method actor in need of direction on stage and in his life. Finally, the album’s poignant swan song ‘This Is All We Have’ opens with an autumnal oboe motif and adds some shimmering guitars before reaching peak loveliness” (Press)

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27 julio, 2016 Posted by | Strawberry Whiplash | Deja un comentario

Strawberry Whiplash: Hits in the car (2012)

Escuchar un disco de Strawberry Whiplash, y en consecuencia, uno de Laz McCluskey bajo su otro alias: Bubblegum Lemonade, supone realizar un ejercicio de recorrido y repaso por casi todas las filias musicales del personaje. El escocés es un músico muy “a su aire”, obsesionado con determinados géneros, estilos y músicos determinados, y parece como si en cada disco quisiera realizarles un homenaje a su modo, como decíamos antes, a su manera.
El Pop de toda la vida, con tres letras mayúsculas, el Twee-Pop, el Fuzz-Pop, el Jangle-Pop, el C-86, el Surf… casi todo tiene cabida en sus discos.
Lógicamente, este álbum de debut de Strawberry Whiplash no iba a ser menos, y en él nos encontramos de bruces con temas redondos, de esos que te alegran el día casi sin darte cuenta, que te empapan y calan hasta los huesos; con estribillos molones y con frases fáciles. Es decir: la conjunción perfecta para dar vida a un perfecto disco de Pop intemporal, interpretado al modo de comienzos del ventiuno, con la dosis de distorsión perfecta para no saturarnos en ningún momento, pero con la sensibilidad Pop a flor de piel.
Desde el irónico comienzo (Do you crash here often?) nos encontramos con temazos como Everybody´s texting o Now I know it´s you, donde el ingenio se entremezcla con la melancolía a partes iguales. Guiños al Twee-Pop: Looking out for summer, What do they say about me?; al Shoegaze: Sleepy head; a la música más francófona de los sesenta: Dining out in Paris and London; al C86: It came to nothing; o a grupos de chicas como Heavenly, Tiger Trap o Black Tambourine: Picture perfect, You make me shine (en el que nos encontramos con un atractivo dueto Sandra-Laz, muy a lo Nancy Sinatra-Lee Nazlewood pero entonando al estilo de los hermanos Reid); Stop, look and listen
El conocimiento musical de Laz unido a la melosa voz de Sandra conciben un disco que difícilmente pasaría desapercibido para cualquier oído Pop que se precie. El saber enciclopédico de la música de las últimas décadas que queda reflejado en el disco, hace de este Hits in the car (Matinée, 2012) una joyita (otra más) que añadir a su pequeño catálogo de gemas.
El álbum está editado por Matinée, otra especialista en tesoros Pop, y supone el debut del dúo tras varios singles previos. Para los no iniciados, os recomiendo visitar su Soundcloud y la página del sello, donde podréis escuchar otros temas. 

Strawberry Whiplash – Hits in the car (2012)

“The duo’s three singles—‘Who’s In Your Dreams’ EP (2008); ‘Picture Perfect’ EP (2009); and ‘Stop, Look and Listen’ EP (2011)—have earned international admiration including strong reviews in Magnet, All Music Guide, Blurt, The Big Takeover, Sounds XP, Is This Music, and Calle 20, among others. The releases have been celebrated by countless blogs and radio shows, including ‘song of the day’ honors on influential American station KEXP and spins on national radio in the UK and Spain. ‘Picture Perfect’ has even crossed over into mainstream culture with a fan-made Youtube clip generating over 130,000 views to date. 
Building on the success of these singles, ‘Hits In The Car’ presents an anorak concept album narrating an evolving relationship from initial chat-up line to Dear John letter. Accordingly, it starts off bright in tone and gets progressively darker as the tracks roll on. The album has the usual influences, including The Jesus and Mary Chain, The Primitives, Lush, The Shop Assistants, Astrud Gilberto, My Bloody Valentine, and Mazzy Star. 
Album opener ‘Do You Crash Here Often?’ is a fuzzy pop pick-up line that recalls the melodic best of Blondie, while ‘Everybody’s Texting’ is a commentary on instant messaging and the excitement of a new courtship and ‘Now I Know It’s You’ is blissful shoegaze pop with especially lush production. 
Matching the enthusiasm of a new relationship, ‘Picture Perfect’ is a shimmering song that sets Sandra’s pitch perfect vocals and Laz’ chiming and fuzzy guitars to a primitive beat. A flawless slice of pop reminiscent of indie classics from The Primitives or Darling Buds, it’s a manic pop thrill that puts the ‘hit’ in ‘Hits In The Car’. 
‘You Make Me Shine’ sees Laz stepping out for a magnificent duet with Sandra. Think Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood meets Sid and Nancy and you’re nearly there. Meanwhile, ‘Looking Out For Summer’ is an effervescent pop hit with zippy intro and Orange Juice guitars that serves as the perfect dose of audio sunshine for road trips in the convertible. 
‘What Do They Say About Me?’ is catchy paranoid pop and a pivotal song on the album as it bridges the honeymoon phase of a relationship with the inevitable end. Meanwhile, ‘Dining Out In Paris and London’ is a continental rift with glockenspiel and major seventh chords. If George Orwell were alive and writing bittersweet indie pop, it might sound a bit like this. 
‘Stop, Look and Listen’ is another smash hit with spirited intro, an embarrassingly catchy chorus, and driving rhythm, while ‘Another April’ is something altogether different—brooding reflective pop building to an especially tumultuous finish. Continuing in the noisy vein, ‘It Came To Nothing’ sees Strawberry Whiplash put on their pop assistants hats for a dancefloor filler with surf guitars and an extra dose of fuzz and feedback. 
As the album draws to a close, ‘Sleepy Head’ features Laz on lead vox in a sublime shoegaze classic with seductive beats that recall the best of the mighty Pale Saints or My Bloody Valentine, while ‘First Light of Dawn’ details the subdued ending of the relationship in fine fashion.
A remarkable debut album, ‘Hits In The Car’ is thirteen smash hits for Strawberry Whiplash and another Scottish pop classic for Matinée!” (matineerecordings.com)

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3 mayo, 2012 Posted by | Strawberry Whiplash | Deja un comentario

   

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