My big complaint about bubblegum as a kid was that Bubble Yum, Hubba Bubba and Bubblelicious all tasted great at first but they never had any staying power. After five minutes in your mouth all the sugary sweetness was gone and rubber bands had taken its place. Scottland’s Bubblegum Lemonade have no such problem on their second album intuitively called Sophomore Release. Somehow they’ve come up with a recipe where the sugary sweetness that initially hits your pallet lasts and lasts.
Called modern pop revivalists, Bubblegum Lemonade revive Biff Bang Pow, Teenage Fanclub, touches of Darklands era Mary Chain, and even humorously reference Aztec Camera in the song We Could Send Emails. The single Caroline’s Radio made my top 40 of the year and it shows up as track one to pull you into the album, and then one man band Laz McClusky goes onto beguile your ears for eleven more songs with generous use of his 12 string Rickenbacker that rings, buzzes and jangles through these 12 songs. He knows about pacing and mixing things up though, varying the instrumentation with glockenspiel, acoustic guitar, wood blocks and harmonies. As I’ve listened to this quite a lot over the last couple weeks, the subtleties have slowly made themselves apparent like the beautiful watery Moose-like guitars on Autumn Sky and the way You Only Leave Twice sneaks itself into your head with it’s melody and flamenco guitar solo. Bubblegum Lemonade’s Sophomore Release has long lasting flavor, so much that I bet if I stick it on my bedpost it won’t lose it’s flavor overnight.