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.
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", "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 strange trippy intro and the familiar NBC sound logo hook adding vocals that rise and descend. The Boing of the bass, the clinking clash of cymbals, mashed with horror organ and dramatic opera leads 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" 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 beat with so many time changes it will make your head spin.
The collection concludes with the experimental rock opera "Maestro Monsignor" that 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.
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