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The Best Place for You

(Guilt Ridden Pop)

The Best Place For You, the most recent CD EP from Mollycuddle, is one of those releases that’s hard to write about. No, it isn’t too bad, boring or unremarkable to be worthy of comment, it just rocks enough that analysis and description don’t seem too relevant. Every time I start to think about their music and its importance and so on, I get bored with myself and just hit play on the stereo and rock along.

Mollycuddle are a rock band from Minneapolis, and that’s about the story. They are four people who play rock music. The lyrics seem pretty cool, but whenever I try listening too closely to them, I end up forgetting about them and rocking out to the music again. The music here isn’t groundbreaking or even all that original; this is guitar-based rock music, in the so-called “alternative” style of the late ‘80s/early ‘90s and so on. Two vocalists, a guy and a girl (Tommy Sang-uk Kim and Sara Lynn Aase), trade singing duties back and forth. She sings pretty and he screams/sings with ferocity, and together they manage to vocalize nice and catchy pop melodies over the rock.

There are five songs here: four rockers and a pretty ballad about driving cross-country and thinking about someone you love. The opening and closing tracks, “Miracles” and “Paranoid Queen,” impress me the most, maybe because they rock the most, the first in that upbeat Superchunk-sort-of-way and the latter with a building, melodic intensity.

“Paranoid Queen” gets emotions across in a rawer, more natural way than the other songs, with lyrics like: “You called my name, asked me how I’ve been and what I’ve done / No I couldn’t speak cause I can’t afford to hurt myself any more / Than I’ve already done.” This sort of crying-your-heart-out-over-loud-guitars rock music is the type of thing I love, and Mollycuddle’s good at it.

“Miracles” has the sing-along chorus “I can’t wait for a miracle coming through my stereo,” ready-made for lazy journalists to quote and follow with the assertion that this CD is itself that miracle. Well, this isn’t a miracle, if such a thing exists. It is, however, a really enjoyable piece of rock music created by people who seem sincerely interested in the joy of rocking out.

Dave Heaton has been writing about music on a regular basis since 1993, first for unofficial college-town newspapers and DIY fanzines and now mostly on the Internet. In 2000, the same year he started writing for PopMatters, he founded the online arts magazine, still around but often in flux. He writes music reviews for the print magazine The Big Takeover. He is a music obsessive through and through. He lives in Kansas City, Missouri.

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