Drink Up Buttercup's Release; Born And Thrown On A Hook worth spreading / review

Drink Up Buttercup's debut full-length Born And Thrown On A Hook, released on Yep Rock Records, has hooks galore and mixed to be heard in full. Between each glorious track are surreal conglomerations for the cerebral explorer. It is an earful of delight around every corner.

They have created a contagious commotion worthy of note, splicing the ruckus orchestra and highlighting the bands' many strong suites, one of which is James Harvey's vocal gifts. Ben Money and Farzad Houshianejad harmonize beyond perfection, and Mike Cammarata lays down unpredictable drumming. The sound they create using drums, bass, guitar, keyboard, and melodica with a host of bells and shakers can be categorized with the following descriptors; Psyche pop, Crash and Burn Pop, Hardcore Pop, Barbershop Vibrato, Campfire metal, and Psychedelic Mayhem. I can go on.

This release proves their musical inventiveness by revisiting beloved genres like the Beatles and Beach Boys to splice, dice, and re-mash into a schizophrenic whirlwind. While all the songs create an uplifting levity, there is a darker,  almost tragic subtext. This is just one of the many dichotomies of Drink Up's broad-stroke style. Slower numbers are delightfully beautiful, forgoing the loud and chaotic for harmonic delight. "The Lovers Play Dead" gives the tired genre "Barbershop" a vibrato edge going full tilt acoustic with some shakers, kick drum, and the bang of a cymbal. "Young Ladies" is Drink Up Buttercup Light, airy, bouncy, and sweet with lots of bells, shakers, and melodica. And "Pink Sunshine" weighs in on the light side, showing off Harvey's Angelic vocals, rippling keys with a contrasting slaphappy beat.

They save the full assault for "Mr. Pie Eyes," "Heavy Hand," and "Gods and Gentleman" and end with their most inventive, "Maestro Monsignor." These tracks escalate off the rafters with a delirious juxtaposition of instruments and vocals.

The first song, "Seasickness Pills," starts with a strange, trippy intro and the familiar NBC sound logo hook, adding vocals that rise and descend. The Boing of the bass, and the clinking clash of cymbals, mashed with horror organ, and dramatic opera, lead to a frenetic ending. The disjointed song structure in "Heavy Hand" jumps between fast and slow, creating a full mashed-up mesh of voices that escalate to uproarious levels, the bass mimicking melody, drunken keyboard, interim yelp hooks, and drums that pound at abandon. This is one muscular song.
Three "dance Tracks" that should appeal to the geek in everyone are "Doggy Head," with its throbbing tribal beat trot combining awesome harmonies and rhythmic bass scales. "Even Think" has a pop beat catchiness that layers keyboard hooks between vocal harmonies. I dare you not to move to "Sosy and Dosey," although awkwardly, to the broken keyboard and one / two polka-like beats with so many time changes it will make your head spin. The collection concludes with the experimental rock opera "Maestro Monsignor," which blends strange musical reverences sequenced together like a broken kaleidoscope into four distinct parts. Beginning with sing story style, macho vaudevillian vocals, loonie bin choral howls, and ending with surreal multi-layered chants of frenzied exaltation. Born On a Hook Debut is worth the anticipation of waiting and proves that Drink Up Buttercup's stubborn conviction to work it all out on the road before laying down the recording worked out. They nailed it. 

Buy HERE Drink Up Buttercup is: Jim Harvey // multiple octave singing, sleigh bells, borrowed guitars Mike T // hand-painted trap kit accompanied by maracas, sticks, and tambourines Ben & Farz // harmonies, hollow body lead bass, melodica, electrically tweaked Yamaha electronic piano, and low end bent Casio keyboards.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The endings of these songs are so calculated and intriguing. The outro of lovers and the end of maestro have kept me rewinding since i got the album. absolutely beautiful.