Primarily a one-man band, Bubblegum Lemonade is the vehicle for suburban postman and 12-string guitar enthusiast Lawrence “Laz” McCluskey, who you may or may not have stumbled across under his alternative gastronomically inspired moniker Strawberry Whiplash.
However, unlike Strawberry Whiplash’s lo-fi pop, Have You Seen Faith? sees McCluskey digging a bit further back for inspiration.
Adapting his unusual name from a Mama Cass solo album, this EP sees him adrift in late sixties, early seventies San Francisco.
The hazy Byrds-like title track ‘Have You Seen Faith?’ catches him at his most laidback, moving from gentle drawn out vocals to a super melodic guitar figure, while ‘Cool Guitar Girl’ transports the sweet C86 pop of Primal Scream’s superlative ‘Velocity Girl’ across the Atlantic.
Its winding guitar riff, reminiscent of The Kinks in their post proto-punk, pre-Disgusted of Tumbridge Wells heyday hits a melodic sweetspot that counterbalances the strummed chords of the more frivolous ‘Angry Birds’.
As a vocalist and lyricist McCluskey is a sweet if reserved presence; fond of simple yet effective melodies that owe a debt to the pop classicism of Teenage Fanclub while his clever use of looped guitars and double tracked vocals immerses you in a hippyish haze.
A brief but brilliant record.
Words: Max Sefton