EP Review – Never Have I Ever by Bubblegum Lemonade (2022) (Matinee Recordings)
BMX Bandits, The Primary 5, The Pastels, Belle and Sebastian, Eugenius, Orange Juice and so many more. Scottish Pop of the 80/90s has had such a bearing on where jangly indie-pop and twee-pop has ended up over the years.
Perhaps the unsung hero of the modern movement of such an aesthetic is the Bubblegum Lemonade project of fellow Scot, Laz McCluskey. This artiste has released five albums and nine EP’s of indie-pop brilliance on a Matinee Recordings label that has been his home since 2007. Never settling for uniformity, McClusky’s latest Never Have I Ever EP is typical of the always eclectic mix that invariably frequents his releases.
Initially the title track, is everything the sound of Scottish-pop yesteryear is famed for. Jangly, fey, ridiculously catchy and with an essence of absolute cool that it is hard to decipher the exact origin of, this is ‘the’ Bubblegum Lemonade appeal that McCluskey will most be remembered for when he finally hangs up his 12 string and is a solid choice as a first single/offering from the forthcoming Jangledelica album.
The remainder of the release offers two vastly different non-album tracks. Sun Kiss of Life moves much further into bedroom-pop territories. All perfectly assumed under-production, pop-rock melodies and the augmentation of McCluskeys slightly off-kilter vocals, this track is lo-fi at it’s absolute best.
Finally, At The Pool continues the lo-fi production and juxtaposes 50s style pop rhythms to modern day indie pop and chiming jangled riffs to provide the sort of pop-tune that McLuskey seems to regularly pluck out of nowwhere with consummate ease. It’s all BMX Bandits / Duglas T Stewart in it’s furtive dance along inflections and is arguably the stand out of the release.
I am not quite sure when the new album will be out, however I have every follow button pressed to ensure my completist Bubblegum Lemonade CD collection remain in tact !