STRAWBERRY WHIPLASH – Stuck in the Never Ending Now

Album: Stuck in the Never Ending Now

Artist: Strawberry Whiplash

Label: Matinee

Release Date: November 20, 2015

www.matineerecordings.com

Strawberry 11-20

The Upshot: Bubblegum Lemonade dude splits his time, and splits the difference, to arrive at a relatively engaging midpoint between the two.

BY TIM HINELY

Hey, Laz is a busy guy. Laz is Lawrence McCluskey and between this and his other band, Bubblegum Lemonade (also on the Matinee label) the guy keeps busy. Not sure if he writes and records songs by each band by way of the seasons or what , but nevertheless he’s back with mysterious vocalist Sandra (maybe not so mysterious if you know her) with the second S.W. album (the debut being 2012’s Hits in the Car which came after a few terrific EPs). Not sure if the album’s title indicates a longing or sadness but the opening cut, “Every Day the Sun Shines Brighter” sure doesn’t seem to fit that. All mid-tempo jangle while they add a little more zip to “If Surface Were Depth”  (Sandra’s vocals way out front) while they slow it down and go minor chord on “Too Close to Call.”  Elsewhere, “Never Ending Now” has this great scratchy shuffle while ‘Ride the Waves to the Shore” is a down tempo number (but not lacking any melody) and the side A ending “Time Takes You Away” sounds like the best cut The Primitives never wrote.

As far as what the other 6 songs sound like you’ll have to buy the record (but suffice to say they’re just as good).  In the end the Matinee label comes through again for those of us longing for the days of yore when labels like Sarah, Sunday, Creation and Subway offered the tastiest of fruits, well, Matinee is doing it now. Jump on board, partner.

DOWNLOAD:  “If Surface Were Depth,” “Never Ending Now,” “Time Takes You Away”

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