Album Mini-review: Bubblegum Lemonade — Beard on a Bike
File next to: Television Personalities, Jonathan Richman, The La’s
With a simple, straightforward DIY approach, this Glasgow group named after a Cass Elliot album makes winsome, unaffected pop. Their gentle vocal harmonies suggest fellow Scotsmen Teenage Fanclub with their distortion pedals taken away. Jangling guitars and swaying melodies populate this four-song EP. Leader Lawrence “Laz” McCluskey is sufficiently plugged-in to pop culture to have titled the band’s second album Sophomore Release, and his style simultaneously pokes fun at pop music while taking it seriously enough to create unironic songs about golden afternoons and Saturday girls. Beard on a Bike doesn’t rock as hard as the group’s earlier efforts, and the four songs here don’t offer a great deal of sonic variety, but they’re exemplars of this particular style. If you love that classic Rickenbacker guitar sound wed to shimmering melodies, this EP has plenty to offer.
About the Author
With a background in marketing and advertising, Bill Kopp got his professional start writing for Trouser Press. After a stint as Editor-in-chief for a national music magazine, Bill launched Musoscribe in 2009, and has published new content every business day since then (and every single day since 2018). The 4000-plus interviews, essays, and reviews on Musoscribe reflect Bill's keen interest in American musical forms, most notably rock, jazz, and soul. His work features a special emphasis on reissues and vinyl. Bill's work also appears in many other outlets both online and in print. He regularly hosts lecture/discussions on artists and albums of historical importance (including monthly events Music to Your Ears and Music Movie Mondays), and is a frequent guest on music-focused radio programs and podcasts. In Spring 2023 he is co-teaching a history of Rock 'n' Roll at UNC Asheville's College for Seniors. He also researches and authors liner notes for album reissues -- more than 30 to date -- and co-produced a reissue of jazz legend Julian "Cannonball" Adderley's final album. His first book, Reinventing Pink Floyd: From Syd Barrett to The Dark Side of the Moon was published by Rowman & Littlefield in 2018, and in paperback in 2019. His second book, Disturbing the Peace: 415 Records and the Rise of New Wave, was published in 2021 by HoZac Books. His third book, What's the Big Idea: 40 Great Concept Albums will be published in 2024. Read even more about him here.