Record review: Bubblegum Lemonade – Some Like It Pop [Matinee]

CD67With Glasgow’s indie-pop kingpins Belle & Sebastian still a long way from following-up 2010’s Write About Love, there’s a gap in the market for a record that fuses the baroque-pop of love with the jangly guitars of The Byrds.

Seizing the moment, Some Like It Pop could easily pass for B&S at their scratchy sixties-influenced best but is actually the work of Glaswegian postman and 12-string guitar enthusiast Lawrence McCluskey,

After his excellent ‘Have You Seen Faith?’ single, it’s almost a shame that McCluskey didn’t find a place for a track as sweet and effortless as ‘Cool Guitar Girl’, especially given that the twelve tracks on show here have a slight tendency to blur into one another, but there are still plenty of sugary sweet treats in store.

For such a sunny record it seems an odd decision to release Some Like It Pop in the dead of winter.

‘Mr Dreaming’s Bland House’ clips along like The Stone Roses on a country jog while ‘It’s Got to be Summer’s chiming guitar figure brings to mind The Cure’s ‘Just Like Heaven’.

Of course, in another guise McCluskey makes Jesus and Mary Chain inspired noise-pop so it’s no surprise that he’s as adept at synthesizing the sounds of early eighties as he is the late sixties.

Sometimes the tracks are rather similar and McCluskey’s voice is a little lightweight, rarely matching the inventiveness of his peerless guitar, but just as changing tastes see musical styles swirl in and out of fashion, Bubblegum Lemonade know that new shoots always arise.

It’s not a record for 2014 but from its witty Scottish subversion of Andy Warhol’s iconic artwork for The Velvet Underground and Nico onwards it might just be a quirky triumph nonetheless.

Words: Max Sefton

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