Hyperbubble look like scuzz rock duo the Kills, if the latter really, really liked colors and never touched anything harder than alcopops. Although Hyperbubble’s latest release Candy Apple Daydreams is without a tinge of scuzz and rather sounds like the nonexistent Nintendo game that would have made your childhood, the duo have more in common with the Kills than looks alone. Both bands work with a minimal amount of musical backing—the Kills with their guitars and drum machine set-up, and Hyperbubble with synthesizers and sequencers galore—and both bands employ a bit of playground sensibility to their sound (see “Cheap and Cheerful” from the Kills’ Midnight Boom, or essentially any track from the album this capsule review concerns).
Where the two bands differ, however, is in delivering on the promise of a pre-teen level of giddy fun. Even on songs like “Top Ten Lullabyes”, Candy Apple Daydreams is far from a poppy red sleeping pill, but it also never quite reaches trampoline-bouncing heights. To be blunt, it is not as much fun as one would expect from an album that features songs entitled “UFO Beach Party” and “Moogzilla vs. Korgtron” (although the latter is a very valiant effort and lives up to its title in every way). Conversely, when the Kills released Midnight Boom two years ago, they improved upon middling previous efforts and achieved “coolest kids on the playground” status, in spite of releasing an album with songs entitled “U.R.A. Fever.” Yet, it’s hard to wholly knock artists who just want to have a good time, and so Hyperbubble don’t exactly deserve being relegated to the medicine ball pole. Despite its failings, Candy Apple Daydreams is great for a few spins around the merry-go-round of nostalgia.
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// Notes from the Road
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